Mobile Websites

The Mobile Web refers access to the world wide web, i.e. the use of browser-based Internet services, from a handheld mobile device, such as a smartphone, a feature phone or a tablet computer, connected to a mobile network or other wireless network.

Traditionally, access to the Web has been via fixed-line services on large-screen laptops and desktop computers. However, the Web is becoming more accessible by portable and wireless devices and according to ITU (International Telecommunication Union) with current growth rates, web access by people on the move — via laptops and smart mobile devices – is likely to exceed web access from desktop computers within the next five years.[1] The shift to mobile Web access has been accelerating with the rise since 2007 of larger multitouch smartphones, and of multitouch tablet computers since 2010. Both platforms provide better Internet access and browser- or application-based user Web experiences than previous generations of mobile devices have done.

The distinction between mobile Web applications and native applications is anticipated to become increasingly blurred, as mobile browsers gain direct access to the hardware of mobile devices (including accelerometers and GPS chips), and the speed and abilities of browser-based applications improve. Persistent storage and access to sophisticated user interface graphics functions may further reduce the need for the development of platform-specific native applications.

Mobile Web access today still suffers from interoperability and usability problems. Interoperability issues stem from the platform fragmentation of mobile devices, mobile operating systems, and browsers. Usability problems are centered around the small physical size of the mobile phone form factors (limits on display resolution and user input/operating). Despite these shortcomings, many mobile developers choose to create apps using Mobile Web. A June 2011 research on mobile development found Mobile Web the third most used platform, trailing Android and iOS.