We’ve gone mobile.
Want to really connect with new and potential customers? Millions of people today have Web-enabled mobile phones.
Sure, countless handsets have had access to online data for years, but only in the past few have we come to a point where we can say mobiles have access to the real Internet.
In business today, we already know how important it is for our company to have a branded website. Connecting with our customers and sharing our story is vitally important to creating passionate fans, and the website is a great medium for making connections. We can announce new products and services, inform our user-base, and get feedback from them in ways that simply weren't possible ten years ago.
Your customers are becoming increasingly mobile in terms of their choice of locale for Internet usage. For instance, in the 1990s, Internet cafes with hourly terminal leases were popular. Today it's unusual to find a lunch spot or coffee shop near any business or academic community that doesn't offer free WiFi.
What's more, it's not uncommon to take a stroll around any city and see more and more people using what are currently known as "smart phones", which run fairly robust operating systems like Windows Mobile, Apple iPhone/touch OS X, and Google Android. These people have access to the Web – to vast quantities of information that is relevant to them – in ways we could only dream of in the last several decades.
All while on the go.
Even though mobile devices are becoming more capable, their form factor and size is inherently limiting. The iPhone may be able to display web pages as they were meant to be seen, with the same layout as they would have in a browser on a desktop or laptop, but the screen is still much smaller. To see the content of most webpages, you have to constantly zoom in and out of the page and pan around – now, the phone tries to make this easy and it generally is, but the sites and webpages that are most enjoyable to use on a mobile are the ones that have been optimized for small screens. Take the following comparison of the normal Toledo Menu site, and the Toledo Menu mobile edition, for instance.
Mobile marketing and advertising is still in its early stages. The things that work on the "desktop Web" won't necessarily work on a mobile device. Optimizing your site or select content from your site for mobile devices could give you a tangible boost over your competition. For instance, let's say your company sells industrial supplies to construction firms, and one such firm has a critical need for welding equipment. The foreman, rather than making a note of this need and having to wait until he is back in his office to place the order, brings up your site on his phone, and makes his order while it's fresh in his mind.
Magnate Interactive is interested in helping you bring your mobile website and web application ideas to fruition. All of the websites we build have the potential for multiple end use cases in mind, including mobile viewing, and creating a mobile version for your next web project can be quite cost effective. We think the emerging platforms in the mobile browsing space are very exciting, and with more Web-enabled phone users every day, this is a great time to get in early.
Ready to get started? Get in touch.
The Apple iPhone runs Mobile Safari, a sophisticated, desktop-class web browser that enables millions worldwide to access almost any website exactly as it was meant to be seen.
The T-Mobile G1, a Google Android phone, also has a desktop class web browser from a capabilities point of view. This is a nascent trend we think is noteworthy.
The iPhone does not presently support Flash, for various stated reasons, most likely related to performance and battery drain issues. Some other phones support Flash and even provide much of the user interface visuals and interaction through Flash Lite. Many of these phones are not currently available in the United States.
Our take on the matter is that unless you are targeting specific phones that have the ability to play Flash (or a specific carrier – Verizon offers Flash content via "Dashboard", their version of Adobe Flash Cast), it is best to stick with standards-based HTML, and rely on the device to handle media like audio and video in the way it is best able.