~ 19 March 2008 ~
I wasn’t planning on posting another article prior to Extensible CSS Part III (which is scheduled to be published tomorrow), but there’s been too much news in the mobile space to ignore speaking of it any longer. Following is a random summary of stuff I’ve spotted in recent weeks.
Dave Shea has hand-crafted a mobile device detection script that includes iPhone and TV browser sniffing, among many other common devices. Available for public consumption.
MobileSafari is now the #1 mobile browser in the U.S. and #2 in the UK, claims Ireland-based StatCounter. (thanks, Clifton)
Google’s visual inventory problem. “It’s simple. As consumers shift to mobile devices, interface screens get smaller — leaving less visible room for ads. Google, and other advertisers, run out of visual inventory.”
Mobile Web Development by Nirav Mehta. I’m curious to see how the content compares to mine. I’ve got a copy on order.
dotMobi’s DeviceAtlas, a comprehensive database of mobile device information. “Everything you ever wanted to know about every handset on the planet.”
Abilene Christian University will be supplying all incoming freshmen an iPhone or iPod touch this fall. “Freshmen will use an iPhone or iPod touch to receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors’ offices, and check their meal and account balances.” Seems a little overly ambitious even from the perspective of a mobile zealot (ahem, me), but I applaud the initiative nonetheless. Related: acu.mobi.
Mobile applications, RIP. “The business of making native apps for mobile devices is dying, crushed by a fragmented market and restrictive business practices. The problems are so bad that the mobile web, despite its many technical drawbacks, is now a better way to deliver new functionality to mobiles.” This was written prior to the iPhone SDK release, and the author acknowledges the impact it would soon have. That said, I have to agree with most of the arguments Michael Mace makes. (It should be noted Mace is former Chief Competitive Officer and VP of Product Planning at Palm.)
Sitepoint: Designing for the Mobile Web. If you’ve read any of my stuff this will no doubt be a review for you. In fact, much of the article’s content seems strikingly similar to mine (series or book).
PEW Internet & America Life Project has published a report on Mobile Access to Data and Information (PDF) in the U.S. Among many other notable statistics is one I find pleasantly surprising: 9% of Blacks and 10% of Hispanics access mobile web content on a typical day, compared to 7% of whites.
The Nokia N82 promises sightless users the ability to “snap a picture of a menu, book, printed receipt or business card. Software on the phone processes the words on those items and reads the text aloud in a synthesized voice. The device can even let a blind person know if paper currency is a $5 or a $20 bill.” Wow.
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