Many of the Web sites I turn to – to check my e-mail, to find breaking news, to look up an elusive fact – don’t look very nice on the small screen of my smart phone. I see a fraction of a Web page at a time, or icons that land far from the words that go with them or, worse, buttons that I know I should be able to click on aren’t there or don’t work.
When part of the splendor of the Internet is supposed to be that it is the same for everyone, it makes me feel like something is broken – not to mention that I’m not getting my money’s worth from my mobile phone subscription or the outrageous price of my phone.
Eleven technology and telecommunications companies, under the umbrella of a for-profit corporation based in Dublin that is seeking additional investors, now have a plan to change that. This past week, their idea for an Internet address for mobile devices was approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers at a meeting in Luxembourg.
By this time next year, you should be able to go to Web sites with names like http://www.iht.mobi, http://www.ebay.mobi or http://www.hotmail.mobi – or even http://www.company.payroll.mobi, for wireless use of internal corporate sites.
When you access a .mobi site, it should look like it belongs on a small screen. In theory, behind every .mobi address will be a series of “style sheets” that let the site identify what kind of device you have – its screen resolution and size, for instance – what kind of Web browser it uses and the amount of bandwidth you have and then adapt its presentation accordingly.