Wampad Updates

I got an email from Shawn McCollum, the guy who created the WamPad site I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. Shawn’s made some nice updates to the site. To quote Shawn’s email:

1. Website Entry – I’ve updated it so you can access sites with or without transcoding . I was playing around with a bunch of different crazy ideas but at the very end I went with a simple approach. So it’s just a list of links with assigned keys. After entering in yeswap and hitting go you can hit 7 to get the non-transcoded yeswap.com site. I added options to get to m.yeswap.com and yeswap.mobi.

2. Updated the del.icio.us option – I’m now doing a backend pull of the link list and redisplaying it on wampad. I also added the option to look up other tags. It defaults to looking up mtag.

3. Dynamic Links – This is one of the features in the refreshed site I’m building that I wanted to make available now, so I can see how it’s received. It’s hard to explain, read on or just go to http://wampad.com/fw. You take any URL and replace parts with text like {Query} or {Zip Code}. You feed that into this the preprocessor, hit submit and it will produce a form with textboxes made from the {}’s in the link. You then get transferred to the URL with data you entered. So http://www.google.com/xhtml?q=weather+48359 would become http://www.google.com/xhtml?q=weather+{Zip Code}, then you put it through the preprocessor and save the dynamic form to del.icio.us or anywhere else. Not sure if it will be useful to users using desktop browsers but it’s another step to a more user customizable wampad for mobiles.

4. Documentation – It’s not exactly superb writing but it’s the best I can do for right now. I’ll be rereading it over and over and tweaking it for a few days but it’s out.

These are nice enhancements and make WamPad even more useful. The del.icio.us change means that you can view the links associated with any of your tags. Originally, you could only see links tagged with “mtag”. I’ve been using a “wapsite” tag for mobile sites and now I can easily access them using WamPad.

I also noticed that Shawn has added access keys to some of the pages to make navigation easier.
  Yahoo Finance    Yahoo Finance  
The Dynamic Links that Shawn mentions are actually pretty cool. What it means is that you can create a mobile front end to many full sized web sites that require some type of text entry. When navigating the web site on the phone the text entry field might be hard to find or require a lot of scrolling to reach. WamPad lets you create your own custom entry form with just the fields you need. To illustrate how this works here are a couple of images showing how the Google example from Shawn’s email looks on the phone. Maybe someday Google will get around to building a mobile Weather site but we don’t have to wait – we can create our own with WamPad. Note that the second button on the entry form which says “Mobilize” feeds the results through the Google transcoder while the first “Go” button returns the untranscoded page.