Not too long ago, smartphones were brand new and only the hardcore tech geeks had them. In a short amount of time however, the smartphone found its niche amongst the general populace and has become the norm of today. No longer just a portable phone, the smartphone is basically a mini-computer, able to hold your contacts, notes, music, pictures and data.
Besides downloading and installing your choice from a plethora of applications, smartphones are also able to browse the web. When this feature was first introduced to the mobile phone world, it was necessary to have a “mobile version” of a website in order to ensure it was completely viewable by mobile phone users.
Today, however, the operating systems and applications of smartphones have improved immensely to the point that mobile versions of websites seem obsolete. If you google “Mobile Versions of Websites” you’ll find that there is debate on whether or not mobile versions are helpful to a company, or even necessary to the mobile user.
At one time the company may have benefited from the mobile version because it attracted mobile users that may not have been on their regular website. There was also some advantages in listing a mobile site in search engines back when it was all relatively new. Now, since just about every major company has created a mobile version, that advantage is not so clear.
In my opinion, the mobile versions are more annoying than helpful to me as a smartphone user. Mobile versions do try to make things larger and easier to select for touchscreen users, but in doing this, they tend to leave out parts or features that are found on their full website.
If I am used to viewing a company’s full website on my computer, I want to be able to access that same website from my phone. It peeves me to no end when a company’s website automatically redirects my phone browser to a mobile version of their site. I give kudos to those companies that provide a “View Full Website” link on their mobile versions, but in my mind I shouldn’t even have to do that.
Since current smartphones are able to zoom in on pages when browsing the internet, there is no need to provide a mobile version with larger text or buttons. The latest smartphone browsers can follow links and scripts just as well as a desktop or laptop computer, so I see no reason to create a completely dumbed down version of a website for mobile users.
I feel that mobile versions are indeed archaic and are going to soon be deemed as unnecessary by developers and users alike.
Previously published at Triond.com