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Mobile web limits

Though Internet access “on the go” provides advantages to many, such as the ability to communicate by email with others and obtain information anywhere, the web, accessed from mobile devices, has many limits, which may vary, depending on the device. However, newer smartphones overcome some of these restrictions. Some problems which may be encountered include:

  • Small screen size – This makes it difficult or impossible to see text and graphics dependent on the standard size of a desktop computer screen.
  • Lack of windows – On a desktop computer, the ability to open more than one window at a time allows for multi-tasking and for easy revert to a previous page. Historically on mobile web, only one page can be displayed at a time, and pages can only be viewed in the sequence they were originally accessed. However, apps exist for example Oceanus, and browsers such as Opera Mini for Java ME, allowing multiple windows, but sometimes a limited number, and not multiple windows in the same screen.
  • Navigation – Most mobile devices do not use a mouselike pointer, but rather simply an up and down function for scrolling, thereby limiting the flexibility in navigation.
  • Lack of JavaScript and cookies – Most devices do not support client-side scripting and storage of cookies (smartphones excluded), which are now widely used in most Web sites to enhance user experience, facilitating the validation of data entered by the page visitor, etc. This also results in web analytics tools being unable to uniquely identify visitors using mobile devices.
  • Types of pages accessible – Many sites that can be accessed on a desktop cannot on a mobile device. Many devices cannot access pages with a secured connection, Flash or other similar software, PDFs, or video sites, although as of 2011, this has been changing.
  • Speed – On most mobile devices, the speed of service is very slow, often slower than dial-up Internet access.
  • Broken pages – On many devices, a single page as viewed on a desktop is broken into segments, which are each treated as a separate page. Paired with the slow speed, navigation between these pages is slow.
  • Compressed pages – Many pages, in their conversion to mobile format, are squeezed into an order different from how they would customarily be viewed on a desktop computer.
  • Size of messages – Many devices have limits on the number of characters that can be sent in an email message.
  • Cost – the access and bandwidth charges levied by cellphone networks can be high if there is no flat fee per month.
  • Location of mobile user:
    • if advertisements reach phone users in private locations, users find them more distressful (Banerjee & Dholakia, 2008)
    • if the user is abroad the flat fee per month usually does not apply
  • Situation in which ad reaches user – When advertisements reach users in work-related situations, they may be considered more intrusive than in leisure situations.

These are the mobile web limits according to wikipedia. Learn how you can tackle them using a mobile application or a mobile site!

 

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