Sunday, 7 October 2007

iPhone/iPod Touch-specific sites

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I was trying out surfing on the iTouch (which, despite the vaguely scandalous nature of the nickname, is what I insist on calling it - iPod Touch is a bit kludgy) and went to one of my favorite sites, iLounge (which is the best all-around site for the iPod geek subculture). I was surprised by the first page that came up. Apparently it had detected I was using the new iPod and it invited me to surf the site on iPhone/iPod Touch-specific pages. Oooh.
So I went, and it showed me a portrait-mode Music menu-type of implementation which was all flickable text. Touch an item and it went to that redone article in the Phone/Touch manner of navigation.
Pretty in its simplicity, much easier to use, yet I was all conflicted about it.
Steve Jobs has trumpeted the Phone/Touch browsing on Safari as the “full internet experience”, which for anyone who’s used it for at least 60 seconds would quickly realize that Jobs is full of it. While it’s way better than surfing on a smartphone or PDA, it’s hardly the full experience.
Even if you do get to see the full page on the screen, it’s tiny; you still can’t read a thing. The screen is still way too small, and all that tapping and pinching and dragging gets old really really fast. It may be convenient and easy to use, but it’s nowhere near surfing on a laptop. “Full internet experience”? Sorry, Steve-O, but that’s a COS. It’s nice we have these new things now, but I’m afraid it still ain’t it.
Even Apple itself contradicts Jobs. They have modules and campaigns for developers on how to make iPod Touch/iPhone friendly sites. If the existing surfing experience on their new gadgets is the “full” kind, there’d be no need for these WAP versions, right?
The iLounge mobile site is great, though, and a good example of the implementation of tailored pages. Another one I’ve found is the Google iPhone version of the search page (which is a bit misleading; subsequent clicks from the front lead you to regular HTML pages), and the Google calendar redesign. But there ain’t much. Yet.
Clicking on the links above will get you odd-looking pages, by the way. Try it on an iPhone or iTouch for the “full experience”. If you guys find others, could you post it up in the comments so we can all benefit?
(By the way, I got a bit of a bonus on the iLounge page - it featured on it a link to a photo gallery of iPods and iPhones all over the world, and some Pinoy iPhone user had just uploaded a pic of his iPhone in U.P. Diliman by the old sundial. It’s the rightmost pic on the set above. Hee hee.)

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