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

dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 5, 2007
5,306
1,318
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

macrumors newbie
May 29, 2012
28
0
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.
 
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w00t951

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2009
1,831
6
Pittsburgh, PA
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.
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
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.
 
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takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,974
68
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.
 
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dccorona

macrumors 68020
Jun 12, 2008
2,033
1
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.
 
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AnotherBrian

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2010
134
0
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
 
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nw9

macrumors regular
May 1, 2012
115
0
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.
 
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swingerofbirch

macrumors 68040
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.
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,902
1,164
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.
 
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mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,505
156
Melbourne, Australia
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.
 
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0m3ga

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2012
491
0
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).
 
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w00t951

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2009
1,831
6
Pittsburgh, PA
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.
 
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Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,248
755
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.
 
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kapolani

macrumors 6502
Feb 24, 2011
264
555
USA
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.
 
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