Mobile Web Kinda Sucks Now

Scott Karp details a list of reasons why the mobile web sucks. For the most part I am inclined to agree with him… however, my iPhone experience over the last couple of weeks has brought me back from the edge of completely abandoning the mobile web. Following Scott’s list, here’s why it’s not so bad now for me:

  1. EV-DO is faster than EDGE, a lot, and EDGE definitely sucks. The iPhones preference for wifi makes it bearable, of course only when wifi is available.
  2. Pubic wifi is a mixed bag. I have to admit that I found myself using Starbucks wifi a lot in recent months and because I had T-mobile it was a breeze. I gave that up when I switched to the iPhone and I definitely miss it. However, I have had surprisingly good luck finding free wifi. Face it Scott, everything in NYC costs bank.

    JiWire’s free wifi directory service for the iPhone is a must have bookmark. Clearly the free wifi in the Valley is abundant but during my recent trip to Denver I was surprised at how many free hotspots the little iPhone discovered. When in Palo Alto you can also pull up in front of Socialtext’s office on High St. and connect to their guest network without even getting out of your car. :)

  3. Too many websites still suck on the small screen, even with the iPhone’s slick landscape mode. Here I can report a little progress but it would be better if companies invested in mobile friendly sites, like!
  4. Scott says mobile device screens are too small… which seems to be redundant against his #3, websites suck on the small screen. The iPhone has by far the best screen on any device I have had, and given that it is pretty much the same size as the overall device I’m not sure that I’d want to have a bigger device just to have a bigger screen. Perhaps something like an LED projector that you could turn on would make it workable?
  5. Advertising gets in the way… but to me that’s just a problem with websites in general, but one I’ll live with because someone has to pay for it. I will suggest that if sites adopted mobile versions as an option they could either strip out the advertising or make it less obtrusive.

All things considered, the mobile web is still not my primary method of interacting with the web but thanks to the iPhone it is a much more productive backup for me.

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4 thoughts on Mobile Web Kinda Sucks Now

  1. agreed– the web expeience on th iPhone is bearable.

    And I think you need to get over EVDO slowness bigotry (though I freely admit that the transition to WiFi is bliss after being on EVDO). EVDO + the ease of use of the iPhone makes the mobile web way better for the majority of users– my wife would never have used/gotten value out of the browser on any Windows Mobile device I have seen, but it becomes a usable experience for her with the iPhone.

    I am thinking that this may be a more widespread phenomenon than people realize– my 60+ y.o. mom called me last week to ask if she should get an iPhone for her 80+ (but still doing great) aunt, so that she can pay more attention to her stocks. Now, wisdom of this approach aside (from a personal finance standpoint), what we have here are 60+ and 80+ women thinking that the iPhone is a better / easier way to access the Internet than the alternatives.

    That seems to be either a triumph of marketing or something really important regarding potential user behavior.

  2. Do I sound like I have EVDO bigotry? Actually, I have been secretly craving one of those cards for my computer, would love to have EVDO instead of EDGE on the iphone.

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