Delivr is the short URL service that I use with Twitter and other micro-blogging services. I like Delivr because it’s fast and reliable but most of all because it is mobile aware. Mobile visitors to a Delivr URL get the mobile version of the target site, if there is one, otherwise they see a mobilized view created with Google’s transcoder. Desktop visitors to the same Delivr URL are transported directly to the original link.
As much as I like Delivr there was one thing about it that always bothered me. Until recently when you opened a Delivr link in a mobile browser it gave you a landing page with a number of options; View mobile-friendly page , Post to Twitter, Share on Delicious, Email this, Send to U.S. Phone and Printable Flyer, but no obvious way to get to the original desktop version. Most of the time I prefer the mobile version. But the Google transcoded pages that Delivr uses when a site has no mobile edition are pretty basic. Google’s transcoder is good for users of the basic browsers on most feature phones, it lets them use desktop sites that are too big to load on their phones. But I’m normally on a full-web mobile browser like Opera Mini, S60 Webkit or the Android browser. All those browsers do a much better job with desktop sites than Google’s transcoder, which strips away most formatting, doesn’t support https forms and does unnecessary pagination.
I mentioned the lack of an option to view desktop sites directly to David Harper, Delivr’s creator. David pointed me to a link labeled “Web” near the bottom of the landing page that did just that. However he conceeded that the option was less than optionally placed and labeled and has made it much easier to find. It’s now a big button labeled “view original page” and is directly under the mobile page button. Plus, the label on the mobile button now changes dynamically. If the mobile site is a native one it says “view mobile -friendly page” (image, left). If it’s a Google transcoded one the label reads “view page adapted to mobile” (image, right). That’s very cool, now I know which type of mobile page I’m going to get and am able to choose accordingly. Well done, David.
Of course Delivr does a lot more than just making short URLs. It has powerful analytic capabilities, the ability to generate a QR code or printable flyer for the target site and one click link sharing to Twitter, Facebook and other social networking services. It lets you build your brand by generating short URLs on you own domain. And you can export your Delivr URL mappings as a CSV file for backup purposes or archive them with 301works, a free link directory backup service. Highly recommended. Visit delivr.com to try it out.