, October 18 2010

Closing the Gap: Media Queries & Mobile Web Apps

A recent article by James Pearce started a great conversation in the mobile web technology circles. Are media queries, a CSS technique for optimizing desktop content for multi-platform display, sufficient for day-to-day mobile web design? Or should mobile web apps, with brand new interfaces powered by Sencha or JQueryMobile, be adopted more broadly? Media queries are faster to use, but the mobile context isn't addressed well. Mobile web apps take longer and don't integrate nicely with the desktop website structure, but can produce a truly "mobile" interface.

At Mobify, we've been thinking about these tough questions for a while. One of our fundamental beliefs is thatweb links are sacred - content, functionality & advertising should be usable on one URL for all platforms. If a mobile web app is built from scratch, it should know exactly what the user wants depending on the link they clicked, not load its homescreen every visit. Doing this right takes time - time which web designers around the world often don't have.

Our goal with Mobify Studio is to make the mobile web beautiful for everyone. Everyone should get a chance to quickly mobify their content much like media queries do, then grow the mobile experience with functionality such as new HTML blocks, JavaScript widgets or mobile ad tags. It's very likely that 99% of the new websites made in the last 24 hours had no mobile optimization whatsoever. If a year from now this number comes down to 95%, we'll all be better off.

So go ahead, try the Studio (the Basic tier is free) and tell us what you think!

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