Mobile Device Support PDF Print E-mail

Cell Phone UserIn today's world, there are probably more devices to access the Internet on the go or from a couch, than there are types of desktop computers.  These mobile and otherwise non-traditional devices consist of cell phones, PDA's, the Amazon Kindle, the Microsoft Wii, and much more.  Often with less memory, processing power, and fewer resources than traditional desktop computers, these devices often have the convenience of accessing restaurant listing from a traffic jam, so long as the sites do not require JavaScript, flash, heavy data transfers, or special plug-ins.  These devices also often have much smaller screens, and limitations on how the user may enter content (smaller keyboards can make typing more difficult, and often mouse input is not available at all).

Things to consider

When developing Web sites and applications for mobile browsers, there are a number of factors which need to be considered.  While mobile users may or may not be limited by their vision, they are often even more limited in terms of what plug-ins and resources their device's browser supports, how they interact with the device in terms of often miniature keyboards and non-existent mice, and as was the case in the days of early dial-up, heavy data transfers can quickly become expensive when you're paying by the megabyte  Due to these things, it is important that navigation menus are easily accessible to arrow keys, content should be readable on some of the tiniest of displays, and overly large and uncompressed images?  Forget about them.

Specialty sites

Often, rather than trying to make one's main Web site fully and easily accessible from cellular phones and other portable devices, Web developers will instead create tailored sites for just this purpose.  In 1995, the .mobi top-level domain (TLD) was created to distinguish those Web sites geared directly to the mobile device market from those geared to more traditional computers.  Often times, developers will create their Web site in such a way that it is able to automatically point a user to the correct version of their site, contingent on the device the user is using to access the content.