Tag Archives: webapps
Opera Mobile and Firefox Mobile and the browsers on other smartphone platforms are often as poweful or more powerfull than iOS Safari or the Android browser. But they don't have the market share and designers (and the bean counters who control development budgets) could care less about low market share platforms and browsers. I can't really blame them, it's not cost effective to develop for or test against a platform that accounts for a single digit percentage of traffic.
Fortunately, some web publishers do expose URLs that will let you load the bleeding edge webapp goodness on any device. I've started to try to find as many of these URLs as I can and test them against all the reasonably capable browsers I have access to, which is currently the Symbian Belle browser, Opera Mobile 12.0 on Symbian and Android, Firefox Mobile Beta 11.0 on Android, the WebOS 18.104.22.168 browser, bada 1.0 browser and Opera Mini Next on Android and Symbian.
I'll be adding the URLs of Android and iOS webapps that work on one or more of my alternate browsers to the WapReview Mobile Directory. To distinguish them from legacy webapps from the same Publisher I'm adding "Touch" to the site's name. Today, I added the following Touch apps to the Directory. I'll add more in upcoming editions of the regular "Found on the Mobile Web" feature here on WapReview.
Facebook Touch touch.facebook.com Advanced mobile version of Facebook that's served to the Android, bada and iPhone browsers by default. Also works in Firefox Mobile and Opera Mobile, the Symbian browser and, except for the check-in feature, the WebOS 22.214.171.124. (Pixi, Pixi Plus) browser (the WebOS browser has no geoLocation support).
Google+ Touch m.google.com/app/plus/?force=1 The rich mobile web version of Google Plus with check in and the ability to create circles, which are missing in the basic mobile version. Served by default to Android, the iPhone and Firefox Mobile. Also works well in the WebOS, Symbian, bada and Opera Mobile browsers. There's a link to this version at the bottom of the basic mobile version (m.google.com/app/plus/x/) that's served to unsupported browsers.
Google News Touch www.google.com/news/i The iPhone and Android version of Google News. It uses geolocation to serve local news based on where you are and has a a more attractive layout, more content per page and more and larger images than the basic mobile versiion at news.google.com/m/news.
IPhone, Android, WebOS and bada browser visitors to news.google.com are redirected to this touch version. But it also works well in Opera Mobile, Opera Mini, Firefox Mobile and Symbian browsers it you enter the URL
Google Calendar Touch www.google.com/calendar/gp Google Calendar optimized for advanced mobile browsers. Looks and works more like a native calendar app with separate day and month views. Served by default to the iPhone, bada, WebOS and Android browsers. Works well in the Symbian browser. Minor rendering issues but usable in Firefox Mobile, Opera Mobile and Opera Mini.
Google Reader Touch www.google.com/reader/i/ Enhanced mobile version of Google Reader served by default to Android, bada, iPhone, WebOS and Firefox Mobile browsers. Also works well in Opera Mobile and the Symbian browser. It's usable in Opera Mini but slow because expanding items requires a server round trip
Not everyone of these iPhone/Android apps works perfectly in every unsupported browser. There can be, mostly minor, performance or rendering issues, but I generally prefer these Touch webapps to their legacy equivalents in all the browsers mentioned in this post.
The Asri's pps are essentially bookmarks which launch the GoogleWebApps in the Nokia browser. But they several advantages over normal browser bookmarks. For one, they have nice icons and look rather smart sitting in your Application folder or a Symbian^3 Shortcuts Widget on your home screen. Plus it's a lot easier and quicker to find and click a shinny icon on your home screen than it is to launch the browser, open your Bookmarks and scroll through lists and folders of browser bookmarks to find the one you want.
If your a traditionalist who prefers using bookmarks, just curious or want to try these on non Symbian phones, the apps open the following URLs:
Google Reader: www.google.com/reader/i/
Google Talk: talkgadget.google.com/talkgadget/m
Google Calendar: www.google.com/calendar/gp
All the Web Apps worked well on an N8. According to Asri, Calendar and Reader work best on touch screen Symbian phones but the others should work on any Symbian phone that supports WRT (all S60 3rd Edition FP1 and latter).
I had no idea that the much maligned Nokia webkit browser was capable of such a sophisticated user interface and animation. Crack It! was created by spicelabs.in. I think Nokia needs to contract with them to create some amazing interactive games and webapps to show off the Symbian browser at its best.
If there's one thing I don't like about Crack IT! it's that when you try to play it with any mobile browser other than Nokia WebKit on a S60 device you get a message that your browser is not supported. I hate it when sites do that. I suspect that Crack IT! could work on other platforms with newer, more advanced versions of Webkit such as Android, WebOS, iOS and Bada. I don't see what Spicelabs has to lose by opening it up to more platforms with the disclaimer that it's only tested and supported on Symbian. It's not like they are offering end user support. If the game works on another platform that's great and if it blows up that's no more disappointing to the user than seeing an unsupported message.
Found on the Mobile Web is a weekly WAP Review feature listing newly added and updated sites on the YesWAP.com mobile portal and WapReview mobile site directory. With these latest additions the directory and portal now list 2215 mobile sites.
Checklist miniapps.co.uk/checklist/ an HTML5 checklist webapp which works offline using the local storage API. Works with Mobile Safari, Android 2.1, N900 MicroB and Mobile Firefox and Palm WebOS.
EveryTimeZone everytimezone.com Android, iPhone, iPad and WebOS webapp displays the current time in every timezone in the world on a single large page. Works offline using the HTML5 Offline Storage API.
Podfeed.net m.podfeed.net Huge categorized and searchable podcast directory with links to over 10,000 feeds. Each feed offers multiple podcast episodes as .mp3 downloads. Mobile view by Mobify
eboogie www.eboogie.com/ An easy to use categorized directory of mobile friendly websites. Most links work with all phones. Special sections for iPhone webapps and Blackberry and Palm/PDA specific sites.
Today PDA www.todaypda.com/en/ A mobile web portal whose main attraction is a directory of over 1,000 mobile video and audio streams in Windows Media format. Today PDA also features news, stocks, weather, a few wap games, chat room and a mobile site directory. Source: Oh! Mobile Directory
MolyMobile www.molymobile.com/en/ Searchable directory of mobile formatted tv and radio streams plus a language translator and a webapp that lets you create password protected temporary notes which self destruct after 24 hours. Source: Oh! Mobile Directory
recast.mobi recast.mobi A collection of streaming rock video channels featuring various genres like Metal, Progressive, 70's, 80's and 90's. Videos are in Windows Media format. Usability is hampered by the site's use of an almost unreadable combination of gray text on a black background.
Ragtube m.ragtube.com Indie Hip-Hop, Rock, Metal and R&B music videos. RagTube features over 3500 indie artists. Billed as an iPhone site, I had no trouble using it on an Android HTC Magic and with Opera Mobile 10 on Symbian. The high quality 480x320 mpeg4 average 10 MB in size. Source: Mobility.mobi
AppScout mobile.appscout.com/htmlsite/ Part of Ziff Davis' PCMag.com Network, AppScout is a news blog offering breaking news, tips, and reviews of desktop and mobile software and webapps.
The mobile edition, created by mDog, includes the full content and photos from all recent AppSout posts including read-only comments. There's a bug in the site's browser detection code which throws a 403 "Not Found" error with some mobile browsers when visiting appsout.com or mobile.appscout.com. Use mobile.appscout.com/htmlsite/ as a work around.
Ratings: Content Usability
ThatsRacin thatsracin.com/mobile/ is an upstart motorsports site from McClatchy, the third largest US newspaper chain. The slick desktop site features extensive coverage with loads of photos from the NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA and Formula One series.
Ratings: Content Usability