A couple more mobilized versions of Digg.com have been released recently. First there is the official Diggriver.com (first image) from Digg itself. It’s another River of News site inspired by Dave Winer’s nytimesriver.com and bbcriver.com. Diggriver, unlike the other rivers, keeps the front page size under 10KB and will load on almost any mobile phone.
The biggest problem with Diggriver and the other mobilized Digg sites like Digg Mobile is that they just mobilize the Digg front page. I thought the whole point of Digg was discovering and sharing neat stuff on the web. If you click through to the site being Dugg it’s invariably a PC site that won’t load or is unusable on a phone. You can get around that by launching these sites in the Google transcoder or Skweezer. That’s an extra step but you only have to do it once if you set a bookmark. The newest mobilized Digg clones; Diggpad and the awkwardly named digg through htcfans.com do the work for you by automatically filtering the Dugg sites through the Google or Skweezer transcoders.
Diggpad (wampad.com/digg/) is the work of Shawn Mccollum of Wampad. It takes a little different approach to Digg.com than the other mobile Diggs. Wampad is a mobile meta-search site so not surprisingly Diggpad lets you search Digg. Below the search box there are eight links that take you to the latest from Digg’s seven topics or “All”.
Unlike the other mobile Diggs, Diggpad only displays the top nine Diggs for the category or query you entered. Nine titles fills up my mobile’s screen (second image) and exploring nine Dugg sites certainly keeps one busy for a while. Still, It bothers me that I can only see nine Diggs. I’d like to see a more link at the bottom of the screen to bring up the next group of Diggs. Update: Less than 24 hours after I wrote this Jason added next and previous links to Diggpad so you can now see 40 Diggs. When you on click a headline in Diggpad you go first to a landing page with a fuller description and a link to the Dugg site transcoded by Google. Using a landing page adds a click but it lets you scan more titles without scrolling – a good trade off for the small screen. Accesskeys also add usabilitity to Diggpad.
Htcfans.com is a news site and forum for users of the Windows Mobile devices made by Taiwan’s HTC, the company that makes almost all the WM phones and PDA’s sold by carriers under their own names like the T-Mobile SDA and Cingular 3125. The Htcfans forum is a Simple Machines Forum so it’s mobile friendly. The digg through htcfans.com site (lets just call it DTH) ( d.htcfans.com) is similar to Diggriver showing about 15KB of Digg front page headlines and descriptions. (bottom image) The difference is that clicking a headline takes you to the Dugg site through Skweezer’s transcoder. There is no landing page – the description is right on the main page under the title/link to the Dugg site. You can see in the screenshot how much more scrolling is required to scan all the Diggs than with Diggpad. The image shows a typical 176×220 phone screen, scrolling is less of a problem on most of the Windows Mobile devices which have QVGA screens and page-down controls.
digg through htcfans: cHtml
Both Diggpad and DTH do work very well. Which is best for you will depend on how you use Digg and the type of phones you use. Diggpad is unique in offering a mobile Digg search and makes more efficient use of screen real estate
but it’s limited to the top nine Diggs or search hits with no way to see the rest. DTH shows the top thirty or so Diggs and looks and works best on the large QVGA screens most of the Windows Mobile devices sport. The Google and Skweezer transcoders are roughly equal in capabilities – both split pages and resize images to make most any PC site at least load even on low end phones – just don’t expect to watch YouTube videos through either transcoder. Simple sites like blogs and some news sites actually transcode pretty well and are very readable on typical mobiles.
I’ve added all the Digg mobile sites to the YesWAP.com mobile portal under Technology/Tech News/Digg