In Praise Of Mobile Browser Navigation Controls

  My recent trial of a Nokia E6 reinforced something I’ve suspected for a long time. The current fad of removing navigation controls like arrow keys, D-pad, trackball or touchpad from touch screen phones is bad for usability. Designers seem have fallen in love with the idea of a smooth, all-screen front face on their devices, which means removing as many buttons as possible. But, you may say, navigation controls are redundant on a touch device as you can just tap links … Continue reading

The Daily Mirror is now ShowbizFree Mobile!

This is kind of weird. Over a year ago in Found on the Mobile Web #20 one of the mobile sites I “found” was for the UK Tabloid, “The Daily Mirror” at the URL, I try to keep the WapReview Mobile Web Directory and mobile portal up to date and free from dead links so every day I try to go through a different folder on the sites and check the links to make sure they still work. … Continue reading

Avoiding Yahoo and Google’s Transcoders (When You Want To)

Transcoders, web services that convert full websites to a mobile friendly format, can be great.  If you are trying to use a site like The Economist‘s that doesn’t have a mobile edition on a phone with an, ahem, limited browser like a RAZR V3, a transcoder is the only way.  You can bring up Google on your RAZR, search for “The Economist”, click the first result and get something that will load on your phone and is readable if not … Continue reading

Mobile Mail – Why Can’t I Follow Links and Apply Labels?

Design requires compromise. That’s especially true when designing for the mobile web. It’s easy to get carried away with implementing features that are too complex to be practical in the mobile context. On the other hand you don’t want to omit essential functionality. Getting the the right balance is a real art and even the big boys don’t always get it right. Case in point Yahoo and Google‘s mobile email sites and applications. Yahoo Mail and gMail are the leading … Continue reading

Bango’s Button – Broken? is a service that handles payments for off-portal mobile content providers. If you are selling ring tones, games, videos or whatever on the mobile web Bango handles the complex details of collecting funds from users anywhere in the world either by direct billing on the customer’s phone bill, a credit card or PayPal. I’ve heard only good things about Bango’s billing service. I was intrigued when I learned about Bango’s new Bango Button service which is supposed to make … Continue reading

Opera Mini 4.0 – Better than WebKit?

Opera Mini 4.0 is out of Beta! You can download it by pointing your phone or PC browser at There are no new features in this version compared with the last Beta. What there are is lots of bug fixes and compatibility with more handsets. Compared with Opera Mini, 3.1 though, 4.0 adds a huge list of enhancements; the main ones being OperaLink which synchronizes mobile bookmarks and Speed Dial with desktop Opera, and Desktop Rendering, Opera’s answer to … Continue reading

Offline Browsing with Opera Mini, Bloglines and gMail

Do you browse the mobile web while riding on public transit? I do most of my mobile web browsing and also catch up with email during my hour long daily commute on the BART train. I see a lot of other people doing the same thing on my train. And that’s in spite of the fact that about half of that time the train is in tunnels where there is no cellular reception. I used to wish I could download … Continue reading

Mobile Web (un)Usability

My fellow mobilist and host of this weeks Carnival of the Mobilists, Daniel Taylor at Mobile Enterprise Weblog has posted an interesting piece on mobile web usability or lack there of. Daniel’s article, Who Designs This Stuff? describes the difficulties and frustrations that he experienced trying to accomplish something on the mobile web that should have been easy – getting the arrival time of a airline flight. The problems Daniel experienced are typical of the frustration that many users experience … Continue reading