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

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by dontwalkhand, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    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.
  2. HappyCamperNS macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2012
    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.
  3. Demonface macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    I agree . If I'm correct it also goes easy on the battery.
  4. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
  5. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    So you don't have to zoom in because everything's tiny and unreadable.
  6. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    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.
  7. kdarling macrumors demi-god


    Jun 9, 2007
    Cabin by a lake with snow softly falling
    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.
  8. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    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.
  9. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    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.
  10. AnotherBrian macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Mobile websites

    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
  11. 3dflyboy1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2011
    California, USA
    xkcd strikes again! :D
  12. nw9 macrumors regular

    May 1, 2012
    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.
  13. adnbek macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2011
    Montreal, Quebec
    Go to the full version of Youtube. Now go to the mobile version.

    That's why.
  14. chrf097 macrumors 68040


    Dec 16, 2011
    This is what plauges the internet for smartphone users everywhere.

    Thank goodness for user agents
  15. swingerofbirch macrumors 68030

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    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.
  16. nw9 macrumors regular

    May 1, 2012
    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.
  17. Calidude macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2010
    Which Nexus?
  18. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    There are a ton of awesome mobile sites that are great on my iPhone so I'm happy they exist.
    (Example: Youtube)

    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)

    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. 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.
  19. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Most probably the one in my signature.
  20. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    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.
  21. Calidude macrumors 68000


    Jun 22, 2010
    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.
  22. 0m3ga macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2012
    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).
  23. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    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.
  24. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    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.
  25. kapolani macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    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.

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