Houston TV channel KRIV recently launched FoxRad.mobi. It’s a standalone mobile weather site that isn’t linked to the channel’s main mobile news (including weather) site at wap.myfoxhouston.com. FoxRad provides very comprehensive weather information for Houston area residents with national, regional and local forecasts and radar maps. At the local level FoxRad.mobi provides a separate forecast page and radar map for each of the 18 counties making up metro Houston. It’s a great resource for anyone who needs detailed, timely weather information on the go.
Unfortunately, FoxRad.mobi is an iPhone only site. Well that’s not strictly so, every device that’s not an iPhone gets redirected to a rather meh one page static affair with a couple of weather maps plus current and 7 day forecasts. The four images on that page are 640×480 affairs re-sized to 320×240 using CSS, which means the large un-resized images have to be downloaded to the phone and re-sized locally, wasting bandwidth, processor cycles and battery juice. The unnecessarily big images also make the page nearly 300kb in size, too large for most feature phones.
I urge everyone involved in mobile development to read PPK’s piece as well as venture capitalist Mark Suster’s “App is Crap (why Apple is bad for your health)“. Limiting your mobile presence to the iPhone is bad business because your message will reach only a fraction of the market. For most services building cross platform web apps exploiting the growing power of the mobile browsers is far more effective. Sources: Mobility.mobi, OpenAttitude.
Ratings: Content Usability
Ready.mobi Score: 2 “Bad”
Mobile Link: foxrad.mobi