IntoMobile has long been one of my favorite mobile news blogs. Martin Perez and team do a great job of covering the latest in mobile hardware, software, services and industry news. Their hard work and timely, quality content have made IntoMobile one of the top mobile news sites with over 3.5 million monthly unique visitors, according to Google Analytics.
But a mobile version of Intomobile has been a bit of an off and on affair. There was one m.intomobile.com that launched in 2008. It was generated from IntoMobile’s RSS feed using Mofuse.com. For reasons unknown it eventually disappeared leaving IntoMobile with no mobile friendly version.
But today when I followed a link from Twitter to an IntoMobile story in Opera Mini I was greetted by a new mobile version of IntoMobile built using MobStac. Browser detection is used to redirect mobile visitors to IntoMobile pages to the corresponding mobile version of the same page. You can also view the mobile version in any browser by going to intomobile.mobstac.com.
MobStac is a freemium service that generates mobile views of WordPress, Blogger, Drupal and Joomla sites. It allows designers considerable control over the content and appearance of the mobilized site and claims to support over 5,000 devices from basic feature phones to the iPad.
I tried IntoMobile with the Android 2.2, Symbian Anna and Opera Mini 6.1 browsers and with a Myriad WAP browser on a Motorola prepaid feature phone. It generally worked well athough there were a few issues. In all the browsers the link to view a post’s comments did not work. The Myriad browser wasn’t recognized as mobile and got the desktop site by default which didn’t work at all. Once I forced the mobile edition by visiting intomobile.mobstac.com the site loaded quickly and looked great even in this very limited browser.
MobStac resizes images and paginates longer posts to reduce page size for basic browsers. However, Mobstac paginates content for Opera Mini, which is unecessary, as Mini can handle very large pages, and slows browsing. There’s a “Single Page” button which presumably is supposed to show the entire post as a single page but it didn’t seem to work. There also a “Desktop Version” link that works although it takes you back to the IntoMobile desktop homepage rather than to the desktop version of the mobile page you were viewing.
It’s nice to have a mobile optimized version of IntoMobile again even if it is a little qlitchy. As it’s brand new and is still probably being shaken down I have hope that the issues with comments, Opera Mini pagination and Myriad browser detection will be quickly fixed.