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Iris goes mobile

Posted: October 29th, 2009 in Work

iris-mobile

We’ve been doing quite a bit of mobile web work here in the Iris web labs over the past few weeks, and with even more on the horizon, we thought it only right to shed a little light on the whole thing.

Not only have we given our blog a mobile makeover, we’re currently under way with an exciting project for the DCSF, which involves creating a shiny new mobile version of the news channel we recently built for them.

This is testament to the increasing popularity of the mobile web. Access to the Internet via mobile handsets is improving quickly, thanks in part to fantastic smart phones such as Apple’s iPhone, Palm’s Pre and the extensible Google Android platform to name but a few. Recently forecasted figures make impressive reading:

  • Mobile ownership will rapidly increase year on year up to 2013, when the number of owners could be as many as 5.8 billion. Current figures put the number around 4.3 billion, up from 2.7 billion in 2006.[1]
  • Sales of smart phones grew by 27 percent in Q2 2009, the fastest growing sector of the mobile market.[2]
  • 6 out of 10 people around the world now have access to a HSPA network, which is faster than the current 3G networks.[3]

With many types of phone, come many different screen sizes and capabilities. The biggest challenge of design and development for the mobile platform is acheiving a consistent experience across a vast range of available handsets, from entry-level through to high-end smart phones. The main restraints for mobile users are text input coupled with large amounts of data, and in turn, scrolling. Kept to a minimum, a mobile site can be much more useable on handsets with restrictive input and slow connections.

On the flip side is the new breed of touch-equipped smartphones. These are making the mobile web easier to view, use and access for increasing numbers of people. Alongside greater coverage of high-speed networks, it’s no surprise the mobile web appears to be going from strength to strength.

Our project for the DCSF is certainly proving both exciting and interesting, we can’t wait to show you the results, but until we’re finished, you can check out Iris’s mobile-ready blog right here. Two versions are available, one for WAP users and one for you lucky smart phone owners. Pay a return visit to this blog through your handset’s browser to see it in action.

References

  1. 1. Portio Research Mobile Factbook 2009
  2. 2. http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1126812
  3. 3. http://www.3gamericas.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=pressreleasedisplay&pressreleaseid=2451