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View Full Version : iPhones and Androids have kickass browsers, why do we even need a mobile version?




dontwalkhand
Jun 3, 2012, 04:53 PM
I remembered that when the iPhone first came out in 2007, one of the features that got EVERYBODY'S attention was a browser that could look at real desktop sites, so you didn't have to look at a 'watered down' version of the website you're on.

So, why are people making mobile versions of websites again? I thought the whole point of smartphones having these browsers is so we don't have to look at mobile versions.

To me, the mobile version usually is available as an app anyway, such as Facebook or CNN. The worst part of all is when you click on a link on Google, and it brings you to the front page of the site- on a mobile version just because it detected I'm using an iPhone. So I still couldn't find what I wanted to.



HappyCamperNS
Jun 3, 2012, 04:59 PM
I prefer mobile versions of websites. Not everyone lives in a big city and has 3+ bars of 3G and the mobile versions of websites load much faster.

Demonface
Jun 3, 2012, 05:01 PM
I prefer mobile versions of websites. Not everyone lives in a big city and has 3+ bars of 3G and the mobile versions of websites load much faster.

I agree . If I'm correct it also goes easy on the battery.

Nermal
Jun 3, 2012, 05:03 PM
The worst part of all is when you click on a link on Google, and it brings you to the front page of the site- on a mobile version just because it detected I'm using an iPhone. So I still couldn't find what I wanted to.

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/server_attention_span.png

mrsir2009
Jun 3, 2012, 05:38 PM
So, why are people making mobile versions of websites again?

So you don't have to zoom in because everything's tiny and unreadable.

w00t951
Jun 3, 2012, 06:07 PM
1) Readability
2) My Nexus chokes on desktop sites. When you try and type into any website, it lags unbearably. Not an issue on the iPhone.

kdarling
Jun 3, 2012, 06:11 PM
Oddly enough, I was just thinking today about what a pity it was that the iPhone had a "desktop" browser on such a tiny screen.

It allowed many website authors to ignore making a mobile version, which are much faster (why download a 1MB image when a 14K one will do?), cheaper on data, and can be easier to navigate by touch.

takeshi74
Jun 3, 2012, 08:02 PM
I thought the whole point of smartphones having these browsers is so we don't have to look at mobile versions.

Like many things, the point is subjective. If you only want the desktop version then there are definitely ways to view just the desktop version. Do what works for you. Just don't assume that everyone else has the same preference.

dccorona
Jun 3, 2012, 09:36 PM
It's not just about loading speed. Mobile sites are starting to become very well designed, and are not only about making the site leaner for loading, but also about reorganizing the content into a layout that is better for touch based input on small screened devices.

AnotherBrian
Jun 3, 2012, 09:52 PM
It just kind of depends, I definitely like some sites better as mobile on the iPhone, easier to read. But sometimes you just need the full site

3dflyboy1
Jun 3, 2012, 09:56 PM
Image (http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/server_attention_span.png)

xkcd strikes again! :D

nw9
Jun 3, 2012, 10:10 PM
As others have already mentioned there are some good and bad points about using the mobile site version over the full desktop version. I've been to some websites that are only good as the desktop version because the mobile version is so basic that it's almost pointless to use them.

For those sites I use the Atomic web browser. It allows me to identify the browser as a desktop. It also has many other nice features that make it worth having. I wish Safari would give us the option to identify as a desktop browser also. There are other web browsers that allow you to toggle between desktop and mobile versions if you don't like Atomic.

adnbek
Jun 3, 2012, 10:11 PM
Go to the full version of Youtube. Now go to the mobile version.

That's why.

chrf097
Jun 3, 2012, 10:14 PM
Image (http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/server_attention_span.png)

This is what plauges the internet for smartphone users everywhere.

Thank goodness for user agents

swingerofbirch
Jun 3, 2012, 10:17 PM
I think the reason for mobile web-sites is the same reason that applications for the iPhone are not built for desktop-sized displays. The experience of needing to zoom in and back out to access different parts of a page is not as good as not having to do that.

I'm surprised that more pages aren't offered in mobile versions. Some of Apple's pages are, but their web apps directory (apple.com/webapps) isn't, which I find odd. And it's not consistent. If you got appleid.apple.com, you get the desktop page. If you click a link on that page to reset your password, it takes you to a mobile version of the site.

I think that if apps hadn't become a surrogate for so many WWW functions, we might have seen even more mobile sites. I still think developing for both a mobile and desktop screen is a good idea, especially for older people whose iPhone is their only source of the WWW, and I am surprised I don't see even more mobile sites than there are already.

nw9
Jun 3, 2012, 10:34 PM
and I am surprised I don't see even more mobile sites than there are already.
It's probably because a lot of sites don't want to spend the extra money to make a mobile version and a desktop version.

Calidude
Jun 3, 2012, 10:40 PM
1) Readability
2) My Nexus chokes on desktop sites. When you try and type into any website, it lags unbearably. Not an issue on the iPhone.
Which Nexus?

Small White Car
Jun 3, 2012, 11:14 PM
There are a ton of awesome mobile sites that are great on my iPhone so I'm happy they exist.
(Example: Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/))

And then there are those that are, I dunno, slightly different, but not really better or worse. I tend to prefer the desktop version just because I know where to find stuff on it.
(Example: WashingtonPost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com))

And then there are the really, really crappy ones that do stuff like that comic up there showed.
(Example: Too many to count, but I know TMZ.com is one (http://www.tmz.com/person/will-smith/). That link will go to their Will Smith page on a desktop, but won't on a mobile browser.)

There are also crappy ones that work fine, but only have 1/2 of the stuff the full site has.

- - - - - - -

So what this all adds up to is, the OP's question is far too vague. It's like asking "Do you like animals as a pet?" and not narrowing it down any more than that.

There's just too many variations to answer the question.

w00t951
Jun 4, 2012, 12:20 AM
Which Nexus?

Most probably the one in my signature.

mrsir2009
Jun 4, 2012, 12:22 AM
It's not just about loading speed. Mobile sites are starting to become very well designed, and are not only about making the site leaner for loading, but also about reorganizing the content into a layout that is better for touch based input on small screened devices.

Plus desktop sites tend to be wide, as they are designed for computers. However iPhones are tall, so when you try and view a desktop site in portrait mode you almost always have to scroll sideways. And scrolling sideways is never acceptable.

Calidude
Jun 4, 2012, 12:48 AM
Most probably the one in my signature.
That's weird, your sig isn't displaying in your previous post.

I have a friend with a Gnex and he doesn't have your issue.

0m3ga
Jun 4, 2012, 01:01 AM
1) Readability
2) My Nexus chokes on desktop sites. When you try and type into any website, it lags unbearably. Not an issue on the iPhone.

I don't have any issues with my S2 running Maxthon web browser. The only browser in Android land that is actually worth 2 craps and similar to iOS browsers.

Anyone that compares Android browsers to iOS browsers and says Android is just as good haven't used iOS. Atomic Web Browser on Android would blow every fanboi away and Atomic would become the number 1 browser overnight. Trust me when I say I tried every single browser I could find for Android and not one is good enough to make it into the app store, except Maxthon (barely).

w00t951
Jun 4, 2012, 05:41 AM
That's weird, your sig isn't displaying in your previous post.

I have a friend with a Gnex and he doesn't have your issue.

Whoops, sorry. In any case, I'm running 4.0.4 (yakju) and it's definitely happening. Since I definitely have the Nexus and it's completely clean (I've disabled about 60% of the default applications) I don't believe your friend. Well, at least if he is running a stock ROM and the stock Android browser.

Jessica Lares
Jun 4, 2012, 06:05 AM
When the first iPhone came out, I remember Steve Jobs going on about how it didn't have the "baby internet" like most feature phones and smartphones did at the time. Even when we still are using websites that are mobile editions on the iPhone, it still isn't that horrible experience you got on something like on old Windows Mobiles which were pretty much limited to images, text, and links.

I don't use desktop sites, like others here have said, because it feels more natural to see them in that iOS app view and they're easier to navigate.

kapolani
Jun 4, 2012, 06:24 AM
Whoops, sorry. In any case, I'm running 4.0.4 (yakju) and it's definitely happening. Since I definitely have the Nexus and it's completely clean (I've disabled about 60% of the default applications) I don't believe your friend. Well, at least if he is running a stock ROM and the stock Android browser.

I don't have this problem either.

Even when I was completely stock.

In fact, I'd rather use full desktop versions when surfing the internet.

Calidude
Jun 4, 2012, 07:13 AM
Whoops, sorry. In any case, I'm running 4.0.4 (yakju) and it's definitely happening. Since I definitely have the Nexus and it's completely clean (I've disabled about 60% of the default applications) I don't believe your friend. Well, at least if he is running a stock ROM and the stock Android browser.
Well if you look at this video review at 2 minutes 41 seconds, this Galaxy Nexus displays and scrolls a pretty heavy website in desktop mode flawlessly, and this is when the Gnex first came out in reviewer's hands, with the stock firmware of course.

I'm usually the first to criticize a product like the iPhone or a crappy Android phone but to say that you can't view a simple thing like a desktop page on a phone with a dual core processor is just silly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=VeZ8sfJjoRI#t=241s

Rajani Isa
Jun 4, 2012, 09:38 AM
I don't mind mobile sites if they follow three rules.

1 - No dumb (i.e. front page) mobile redirect. The above linked XKCD comic shos why.

2 - Same content. Local newspaper would violate this and number 3...

3 - Option to view the desktop site. Doubly important if number 2 isn't 100%. Too many sites don't have a non-mobile option for smartphones. I've downloaded mini-Opera (eh...) and Dolphin (still learning that) to get around it where needed, but it's annoying.

Mochi Hana
Jun 4, 2012, 02:16 PM
I have the same problem shown in the kxcd comic a whole lot. I just change the user agent in my browser and it works after that.

SurferMan
Jun 5, 2012, 01:37 PM
1) Readability
2) My Nexus chokes on desktop sites. When you try and type into any website, it lags unbearably. Not an issue on the iPhone.Whoops, sorry. In any case, I'm running 4.0.4 (yakju) and it's definitely happening. Since I definitely have the Nexus and it's completely clean (I've disabled about 60% of the default applications) I don't believe your friend. Well, at least if he is running a stock ROM and the stock Android browser.
That's weird, I don't have that problem at all. Actually a lot of times from news sites to Amazon etc I switch to desktop view as hate the mobile layout on a lot of sites. Never had any lag typing or choppiness etc, that was on Dolphin HD, have a custom Rom now and using Chrome beta and it's so slick and fast, w/o a doubt the best mobile browser.

I would think the Nexus would be fine in that case, especially if my GSII never had those issues? Have you used Chrome beta since your on 4.0?

I don't have any issues with my S2 running Maxthon web browser. The only browser in Android land that is actually worth 2 craps and similar to iOS browsers.

Anyone that compares Android browsers to iOS browsers and says Android is just as good haven't used iOS. Atomic Web Browser on Android would blow every fanboi away and Atomic would become the number 1 browser overnight. Trust me when I say I tried every single browser I could find for Android and not one is good enough to make it into the app store, except Maxthon (barely).Not sure about that, had iOS since 07' and have used Atomic which was def better than mobile Safari. Didn't care for the stock browser on the GSII but liked Dolphin HD. Tried Maxthon as well but liked HD a little better, didn't really care for Dolphin Mini though or Boat. But using Chrome now and it rocks, love the formatting and slickness, and the cool tab switching.

matttye
Jun 5, 2012, 01:40 PM
Android browsers have a "view desktop version" option which is handy :D

w00t951
Jun 5, 2012, 04:55 PM
That's weird, I don't have that problem at all. Actually a lot of times from news sites to Amazon etc I switch to desktop view as hate the mobile layout on a lot of sites. Never had any lag typing or choppiness etc, that was on Dolphin HD, have a custom Rom now and using Chrome beta and it's so slick and fast, w/o a doubt the best mobile browser.

I would think the Nexus would be fine in that case, especially if my GSII never had those issues? Have you used Chrome beta since your on 4.0?

Not sure about that, had iOS since 07' and have used Atomic which was def better than mobile Safari. Didn't care for the stock browser on the GSII but liked Dolphin HD. Tried Maxthon as well but liked HD a little better, didn't really care for Dolphin Mini though or Boat. But using Chrome now and it rocks, love the formatting and slickness, and the cool tab switching.

Maybe we have differing definitions of "lag". I define anything other than the silky smoothness of iOS scrolling to be "lag." When the page stutters - lag. When the scrolling framerate slows - lag. Don't tell me you don't get any of this. Google Chrome for Android is extremely buggy for me (and many of my Android toting friends), and ends up lagging much more than the stock browser.


Do this for me: Go to this (http://m.kotaku.com/5915676/god-save-this-british-zombie-game) website (it's Kotaku Mobile). Smooth scrolling, huh? Play the embedded video and watch your framerate take a dump. On iOS, that never happens. This sort of lag occurs on multiple websites, and it almost always occurs when typing into the browser.

SurferMan
Jun 5, 2012, 05:55 PM
Maybe we have differing definitions of "lag". I define anything other than the silky smoothness of iOS scrolling to be "lag." When the page stutters - lag. When the scrolling framerate slows - lag. Don't tell me you don't get any of this. Google Chrome for Android is extremely buggy for me (and many of my Android toting friends), and ends up lagging much more than the stock browser.


Do this for me: Go to this (http://m.kotaku.com/5915676/god-save-this-british-zombie-game) website (it's Kotaku Mobile). Smooth scrolling, huh? Play the embedded video and watch your framerate take a dump. On iOS, that never happens. This sort of lag occurs on multiple websites, and it almost always occurs when typing into the browser.I don't get it, loaded fast and worked fine and smooth for me even with the embedded video playing on Chrome? I tried it in Dolphin HD and it stuttered for a second at first then it was fine. I'd try it on the stock Android browser but not sure where the file is as I'm running a custom Rom (shostock2) and don't recall what it was named, can't find it in titanium.

I tried it on my iPhone (3GS was the only one I had off hand) and noticed safari took longer to load the site and was more choppy till everything was loaded then was fine. Not sure how your getting the embedded vid to play though and scroll simultaneously on iOS as it only goes right to the video for me when clicking it?

I'd take a vid to show but not sure how thats done when I see people doing vids like it's a live screen shot on phones. The only issue I ran into Chrome with is when I logged into Facebook mobile from the browser to check something, and for some reason it keeps autoscrolling to the top lol, no other site does that and never had it happen on other browsers... no biggie though since I use the app anyway.

w00t951
Jun 5, 2012, 06:37 PM
I don't get it, loaded fast and worked fine and smooth for me even with the embedded video playing on Chrome? I tried it in Dolphin HD and it stuttered for a second at first then it was fine. I'd try it on the stock Android browser but not sure where the file is as I'm running a custom Rom (shostock2) and don't recall what it was named, can't find it in titanium.

I tried it on my iPhone (3GS was the only one I had off hand) and noticed safari took longer to load the site and was more choppy till everything was loaded then was fine. Not sure how your getting the embedded vid to play though and scroll simultaneously on iOS as it only goes right to the video for me when clicking it?


I guess our standards are just different. And I was referring to scrolling in iOS after you pause or close the video. On the Nexus, pausing the video leaves the top half of the page pixellated and the entire page laggy.

And why are you comparing an old single core phone to a recent dual core phone?

SurferMan
Jun 5, 2012, 06:49 PM
And why are you comparing an old single core phone to a recent dual core phone?B/c did you see where I said the 3GS was the only one I had off hand? Gf uses the 4S for work, regardless that still stands for "they never used iOS" like you said.

I guess our standards are just different. And I was referring to scrolling in iOS after you pause or close the video. On the Nexus, pausing the video leaves the top half of the page pixellated and the entire page laggy.
I know what lag is as that was my main gripe with earlier experiences with Android, and sorry, but I don't have the issues your talking about, it opens and loads faster for me, no problem scrolling even with the video playing. No pixelation etc, no lag while typing. The only time I noticed any browser lag feeling on this phone was with the stock ginger bread browser that came on it which was replaced quickly with Dolphin HD.

JMG
Jun 5, 2012, 07:57 PM
Android browsers have a "view desktop version" option which is handy :D

Too band they don't have a "transform into an iphone" option :D

cynics
Jun 5, 2012, 08:24 PM
I'm absolutely loving Chrome on Android. Atomic isn't bad but I can make it crash a little too easily, plus I can't set as a default. I don't have a problem with mobile safari either, just prefer something else.

I prefer mobile sites on my iPhone due to screen size.

chakraj
Jun 5, 2012, 09:00 PM
I guess our standards are just different. And I was referring to scrolling in iOS after you pause or close the video. On the Nexus, pausing the video leaves the top half of the page pixellated and the entire page laggy.

And why are you comparing an old single core phone to a recent dual core phone?

I don't run a stock version of ICS but I can tell you my nexus has no such issues.

blackhand1001
Jun 5, 2012, 09:03 PM
1) Readability
2) My Nexus chokes on desktop sites. When you try and type into any website, it lags unbearably. Not an issue on the iPhone.

What nexus are you using. My galaxy nexus has no problems with desktop sites.

SurferMan
Jun 6, 2012, 01:36 PM
I guess our standards are just different. And I was referring to scrolling in iOS after you pause or close the video. On the Nexus, pausing the video leaves the top half of the page pixellated and the entire page laggy.

And why are you comparing an old single core phone to a recent dual core phone?Don't know if you saw the other post..... but tried on the 4S last night with that site, no difference vs my GSII and Chrome, seemed like faster loading on Chrome but only by a bit. And still no issues like you mentioned, scrolls smooth even with the video playing and no pixelation pausing, no lag typing etc. Other Nexus owners say they don't have that issue so not sure there. On the 3GS that site took longer to load and scrolled choppy till everything was loaded.

Don't have the buggy issues with Chrome either like you mentioned, not sure what's up with your device but that kinda sucks, I'd be annoyed too if I was having that happen.

oneapplegeek
Jun 6, 2012, 01:57 PM
I prefer mobile version as well. Don't wanna navigate around big pages in the small screen.