Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The New Breed of Snails are Good News for Old Snails

This is an iPhone. It is one of many handheld devices capable of surfing the internet. But it's processor speed and ram is much less than a typical desktop or laptop computer. For this reason and because of the smaller screen size, devices like iPhones, Pocket PC's, smartphones and PDA's have special needs when it comes to browsing websites.

Just like your old computer, they are snails. But they are a new breed of snails, on the cutting edge of technology.

This is great news for you if you own an old slow computer, because there are a ton of websites designed especially with these new snails in mind. And if you are having problems with the increasing demands of typical websites loaded with flash, scripting, large images, etc., then why not give the mobile sites a try?

Most of them will work on a desktop computer, and they not only work great on old slow computers and ones running at lower resolutions, they also work great for newer computers on slow dialup connections.

Do you have a Yahoo webmail account? Are you not too happy with the newest fancy version of their webmail? Does even the older interface leave a bit to be desired when it comes to speed of loading on a slow dialup connection? Try the mobile version of Yahoo Mail. There is no fancy scripting or graphics and it has only a few text based ads. It is the simplest version of their webmail that I have ever seen.

Do you use Hotmail instead of Yahoo? Don't worry, there is a mobile version of MSN that has Hotmail.

How about a version of GMail that is even lighter than their basic HTML version? Try this one.

Do you wish that there was a site with tiny lightweight flash games that wouldn't kill your pc? Then try the mobile games at Gamoku.

You can even shop at Amazon!

You are now ready to give that other hidden internet of sites that are snail friendly a try, but except for the few sites that I have given you, where and how does one find them?

One of the first things you can try is looking on the sites you already like but are struggling with and see if there is a link to a mobile version on it. This was how I found the lighter version of Digg.

Another thing you can do is check directories of sites that are specifically designed for handheld devices.

Important Note: Not all mobile sites can be accessed with a desktop computer. Some web developers have gone out of their way to restrict their mobile sites to handheld devices only, and the links may not work, or even worse, they may lead you to the regular version of their sites. Keep this in mind as you are browsing.

Here are some directories you can try:

If you have a link to a great mobile website or directory that I haven't mentioned, why not share it?
Leave a comment and tell us about it.


Tom said...

great article app,
the http://m.gmail.com/ link doesnt work -in europe at any rate- in fact I think it only works in the states
try http://m.google.com/ when in the rest of the world!

Tom said...

re my comment above,
I think that's maybe actually only the case here in Germany

scannie said...

I like http://cantoni.mobi/ , it's a good mobile-web directory...

Now... why on earth does *$ need a mobile website?

-- luv, scannie

App said...

@scannie: That one is pretty good. I found some stuff on it that will probably end up using.


The mobile version of Google Docs could be quite useful. Might be better than fighting with MS Office 97 which can't open a lot of newer format versions, or trying to run OpenOffice on my old machine.

Personally, I like to stick to plain text and html when possible, because it's pretty much universally compatable across all systems, regardless of operating system or software installed. It would be a mighty strange thing to come across someone that didn't have a plain text editor or browser installed on their machine.

I can't stand it when I end up with the occasional .doc that Wordpad on 9x can't handle. People should be more considerate and not send stuff like that to others. Nobody should have to run out and spend a ton of money to buy the latest version of Office just to open your occasional files, especially if the latest version won't run on their system. It doesn't take much to ask your application to save the file as either plain text or html, and send that instead.

While I might not be able to edit or create files with the mobile Google Docs, I will at least be able to read stuff people send me. I will just have to request they send them to me through Google Docs from now on.