Nokia CEO calls the N900 “the best browser device ever” Is It?

At the Nokia World keynote today, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvou (OPK) called the N900 the “best browser device ever”.  Strong words and clearly aimed at the iPhone which is often said to have the best mobile browser. I’m really hoping that OPK is right as I don’t consider the iPhone’s browser all that great. It’s OK, with pretty good rendering and JavaScript support and it’s easy to use.  I don’t even mind that it doesn’t support Flash, personally I wish … Continue reading

Bing Mobile Buries and Transcodes Mobile Web Sites

Microsoft unveiled their new search engine Bing, last week with considerable fanfare.  Thanks to Google’s Wave announcement the same day it probably didn’t get as much press coverage as it deserved. Bing replaces Live Search and MSN Search.  Initial reviews  have been quite positive. Billed as a “Decision Engine”, Bing on the desktop has some nice touches including auto completion of queries, a list of related searches  in the left sidebar and  infinitely scrolling results rather than pagination for  image … Continue reading

MWC09: TeliaSonera and Bytemobile Inserting Ads Into 3rd Party Content

Bytemobile is a mobile infrastructure services company. One of its products is web to mobile transcoder that it markets  to mobile network operators under the name Web Fidelity.  Competitors include Openwave, Novarra and Infogin.  At the Mobile World Congress today, Bytemobile announced an agreement with Sweden’s TeliaSonera.  It was an occasion to celebrate for Bytemobile as it represents the company’s 100th customer network deployment (press release). While I congratulate Bytemobile on their success, I also found something potentially troubling in … Continue reading

MWC09 – dotMobi Instant Mobilizer

No, I’m not at MWC (Mobile Web Congress), the huge mobile industry trade show in Barcelona.  I’m following it closely on Twitter and with a Topix search feed that picks up most of the press releases and will be covering  the mobile web news from the show.   Subscribe to the Wap Review RSS feed for reports and commentary on  major mobile web related MWC announcements. First up, DotMobi has released Instant Mobilizer which I believe is based on the Mowser … Continue reading

Microsoft to Use InfoGin’s Transcoder

InfoGin announced today that they have signed an agreement to provide data transformation services for Microsoft’s Live Mobile Search.  Microsoft had been using an in-house transcoding engine for Live Search. InfoGin has one of the best of the current crop of transcoders.  It partially converts Adobe Flash content by rendering Flash animations as animated gifs and allowing users to follow URL links within Flash. What I like best about InfoGin though is that they do not alter the HTTP User … Continue reading

Opting Out of Transcoding

Remember the furor that erupted on the web and the wmlprogramming Yahoo group over transcoders? Specifically, the ones that Vodafone UK and other carriers implemented with the goal of making non-mobile web pages more usable on mobile handsets? The issue was that these services had the (hopefully unintended) consequence of degrading or completely breaking numerous mobile web sites and services. Ring tone and game downloads no longer worked, some mobile web sites didn’t load or displayed malformed content. Sites that … Continue reading

OpenWeb and InfoGin Adopt the Developer Manifesto!

I have an update on the Openwave OpenWeb transcoder that US CDMA/EVDO provider Sprint rolled out last month. This time the news is good. To recap, the transcoder is intended to make full PC websites usable with the limited browsers of feature phones – which it does. But it also had a negative effect on the usability and appearance of some mobile web sites and broke many off-portal ringtone, wallpaper, game sites to the point that content downloads stopped working. … Continue reading

How Web to Mobile Transcoding Should Work

Luca Passani, the co-creator and maintainer of the WURFL mobile device characteristics database, with input from other mobile developers has published what he calls a “Manifesto for Ethical Reformatting“. The manifesto outlines some simple rules for how transcoding can work to make non-mobile websites usable on any phone, without breaking the mobile web. This manifesto is a reation to the current transcoding implementations from Vodafone in the UK, Spain, and Portugal with Novarra, and Vodafone Ireland with Bytemobile and Sprint … Continue reading