Cell phones are more popular than ever, and are being used extensively to search the web, amongst other functions. With the introduction of affordable, mass-market Smartphone devices being offered to the South African market, many consumers are relying predominantly on cell phones for their internet usage. A key benefit to searching the web on your cell phone is accessibility. Searching the web on computers requires a connection to be set up. It also demands that you are at your computer. Searching the web on your cell phone, however, can be done from any location, at any time.
A summary of the advantages to searching the web on your cell phone:
- Can be done anytime, anywhere (provided you are in an area with signal)
- Does not require you to be “logged on” through ADSL, wireless etc
- In many cell phone contracts, the data packages are far more reasonable than the cost of an ADSL line or similar
- Quick, real-time access to all your favourite websites
Searching the web on your cell phone is as easy as searching the web on a computer, provided of course that you have a web-enabled phone. Most websites today have specialised sites designed for cell phone usage called mobi sites. A mobi site is a website designed or customised for various mobile devices, such as cell phones, iPads, PDAs and similar products. It’s typically a smaller version of the existing website with a more simplistic design.
Good mobi sites cater to the user and are kept simple in functionality and design. Mobi sites that work well for users make sense in the mobile context and have balanced technology to receive the content required. Content is limited, yet is based on reader priority.
As more mobile users access the Internet, it is important that businesses understand the uniqueness of mobile web. Mobi sites should be created for the user, in content, functionality and design.
While many normal websites will load on your cell phone, mobi sites are designed to fit within the confines of a smaller cell phone screen, meaning you don’t have to keep scrolling down and across the page to read a story.
Whilst there are so many mobi sites out there, some of the most popular, mirroring web popularity, are:
- Google (google.com/mobile)
- Facebook (m.facebook.com)
- News24 (m.news24.com)
- You Tube (youtibe.com/mobile)
Bear in mind that there are also numerous applications available today, many of which are “customised” applications for your cell phone. These apps, however, do not run off the World Wide Web like mobi sites do. Therefore, a savvy cell phone user will make use of a combination of mobi sites, allowing them real-time access to the web, and Apps, which are customised to their specific information, gaming and social networking needs.
There are a multitude of mobi sites dedicated to social networking, sport, classifieds, news, weather, business etc. Accessing them is dead easy, once you know how, and will make sure that you are never out of the loop again!