Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mobile Web Browsers button element

Here's something to keep in mind when creating forms for the mobile web.

Time to stop using the button element because it doesn't render on many of the mobile web browsers.

Using your phone as a web server

Zec from Zec Online Journal wrote about a new concept from Nokia demonstrated at MobileCamp event in New York for the first time - Nokia Mobile Web Server:

It's the concept of serving web pages directly from a mobile phone connected to the network.
The plan is that every mobile web server will be provided with global URL.
If every mobile phone or even every smartphone initially, is equipped with a webserver then very quickly many websites will reside on mobile phones. That is bound to have some impact not only on how mobile phones are perceived but also on how the web evolves.
Further reading at the Nokia OpenSource Wiki - Mobile Web Server describes some very interesting scenarios for possible use cases. In particular, one such scenario:
When every phone has a URL and there is a web service interface to calendar, it becomes straightforward to create a peer-2-peer based distributed calendar application without any centralized server.
This is really really cool stuff coming up. Can't wait to see how this pans out.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Amusing video about advanced Japanese mobile phone usage

Amusing and instructional film about the advantages of being a smartphone user if you live in Japan!

This is why mobile phones in N. America still suck compared to those in Japan. Let's see how the Apple iPhone starts to promote changes needed to catch up.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Need better user input mechanisms

It is really hard for non-qwerty keypad mobile phone users to input text into their mobile web browsers. This fact alone hinders the adoption of using the mobile web to do many of the things we normally do on the desktop web browser.

If only there was a way to save common canned responses to some datastore on your mobile phone, and simply paste them into form fields that you need to enter. I have a Windows Mobile smartphone device, and that is a feature that I most wished for. Sure... the platform supports copy and paste, but only for phones that have pen-based input. Surely, there must be a copy-paste mechanism for those smartphones that only have the joystick/keypad-based input. I have tried several mobile web browsers for my Cingular 2125 Windows Mobile smartphone device, and they all fail on providing this key feature. I tried Opera Mini (J2ME), Pocket IE, and the Opera Browser beta for Windows Smartphones, and it is an incredible chore to input text. A simple copy to datastore and paste mechanism would help alleviate this annoyance.

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