The iPad Question

Recently we've been getting a lot of questions regarding the iPad launch. Is there going to be a new tablet design screen inside Mobify? Is there even a need to redesign websites to work on the iPad?

The short answer is - let's wait and see. Many questions regarding iPad performance and usability can only be answered when it hits the shelves. One thing is for sure though - expect new and exciting services from Mobify ;)

More Great Mobile Views

While most of the world was on vacation, our users have been hard at work creating more kick-ass mobile experiences. Check them out below – and stay tuned for some exciting announcements from Mobify in the next few weeks!!!

Mobile Web 2014: No Pinch, No Zoom, Tons of JavaScript

Well, maybe a little bit of pinching. But not too much.

As the mobile web breaks growth record after growth record, let's step back for a second and think about what happens next. Today's web surfing experience, characterized by a mix of desktop & mobile-friendly websites, will make way for something better. What will the mobile web feel like in 2014, five years from now?

Going from website to website will feel like switching from one iPhone app to another. It is still relatively rare to see a mobile website, but more are launched every day. One of our favourite past-times at Mobify is discovering "mobile web chains" - starting with a mobile-friendly website and clicking offsite links to other mobile-friendly sites. A four or five node mobile web chain is already common (eventually it is interrupted by a desktop-only site). With big publishers, content sites and popular CMS distributions all going mobile, the "pinch & zoom" experience will soon feel as ancient as "Best viewed in Internet Explorer" banners.

Location-aware search will include vast quantities of real-time data from retailers, web platforms and government agencies, becoming a key mobile web use case. Watching my sister spend 30 minutes looking for the right shoe size in four different retail outlets made it clear that local search is a big problem waiting to be solved. Retailers have a fairly up-to-date knowledge of what's in stock - it will inevitably make its way to buyers through popular search engines, together with many other streams (the Twitter-Google deal is only the beginning). Meeting up with friends and family (and looking for the right Christmas presents for them) will start with a mobile search bar.

With desktops, mobiles, netbooks and tablets all heading to the same Web destinations, ads will learn to position themselves accordingly. Recent Android devices like the Nexus One and Motorola Droid have increased pixel density (480x854) which is not addressed by the guidelines of the mobile advertising industry. If a bigger mobile ad size is introduced, it will start overlapping with desktop ad standards maintained by the IAB. In a world where any kind of device can navigate to any webpage, more and more advertising decisions will be made client-side, enriched by sensor information. Display ads will adapt depending on the user's viewport, instead of being placed statically around a webpage.

What do you think the mobile web will evolve into?

Let's welcome

It's always very exciting to showcase some of the recent work by our users. Please welcome the newest publishers in the Mobify Gallery!

Why Android Will Dominate Japan

Japan, second-largest economy in the world, the land of QR-codes, mobile payments and (soon) 4G networks. Here in the West, we hear many rumors about the state of mobile in the Land of the Rising Sun - often about superiority of its mobile ecosystem and hardware. Recently Mobify got a chance to visit, attending [Mobile Monday Tokyo][] and MCPC. What we saw was surprising - it seems that the Japanese smartphone market is about to undergo a major transformation, embracing Android. Here's why:

1. The "i-mode" mobile web experience looks and feels outdated. It is terrifying how similar most i-mode pages are to sites rendered on a Motorola RAZR, perhaps because the browsers are supplied by the same vendors. Yes, there is lots of content in i-mode and its competitors that millions of people use, but it's far from a well-designed mobile view or a mobile app in terms of the overall experience. Flash Lite, which is Japan's way to develop rich mobile interfaces is mostly used for creating landing pages only, handing off links to the browser. In the end, to get a modern browser on a device, a good OS is necessary - LiMo and Symbian, current market leaders in Japan, are already behind in their arms race with Android.

2. Japanese carriers want to control everything, including the OS of their devices. Historically carriers like NTT DoCoMo would order devices directly from manufacturers, specifying everything down to the color. This kind of influence is not possible with Apple - in fact, we've heard horror stories about the effort that SoftBank (the Japanese carrier for the iPhone) had to go through to get [emoji][], a core mobile feature in Japan, included in the 2.2 firmware. Android is the opposite - the carriers can customize it any way they like. That's why DoCoMo brass proudly carry around the recent white HTC Android device (though often have a feature phone as well).

3. The developer community is increasingly looking at the global market, instead of focusing on Japan alone. We met several iPhone & Android app developers who dream big - their applications are not quite as smooth as the best ones coming out of SV, but quickly getting there. Many in the japanese mobile community are frustrated with the slowing pace of local innovation, especially when it comes to mobile software. Just like developers in the West, they want openness, power and a big international audience - all of which are promised by Android.

The degree to which Android will take off in Japan will also depend on the smartphone/feature phone balance. Not everybody needs the advanced features of a WebKit-equipped mobile, but the economies of scale should eventually make it economical to use Android for all types of devices. A world-class, free mobile OS, combined with outstanding hardware could propel the japanese mobile ecosystem to even greater heights. [Google's renewed focus on the market][] is no coincidence.

It was great to visit Japan, huge thanks to everyone who helped make the trip happen and supported us on the ground.