Mobile: A Serious Contender to the Desktop Computer


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Mobile is certainly the big craze at the moment in the web industry. With the introduction of mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and various other smart phones and tablets, the demand for websites to be ‘mobile friendly’ has never been greater. The purpose of this article is to highlight the impact mobile devices have had on web design in recent years. The article looks at various aspects such as best practices, challenges and design trends as well as taking a look at what may lie ahead for the future of mobile web design.

Mobile Conception

Motorola launched the world’s first commercially available mobile telephone, the DynaTAC 8000X, in 1983. Despite initially being affordable only to a privileged few and, by today’s standards, little about the device actually lending itself to mobility – not least its unwieldy brick-like size and weight – the Motorola 8000X nevertheless represented a major world-changing advance in the way we communicate.

In the 30 years or so since the 8000X went on sale, much has changed. For a start, the definition of the term ‘mobile technology’ has expanded beyond the scope of the telephone to include an evermore-diverse and sophisticated array of devices ranging from tablet PCs to eBook readers to so-called smart phones. Alongside other impressive capabilities such as allowing users to take and share high-definition photographs, read books, ascertain ones location down to a few metre’s, play movies and music and, even access the internet, that of making and receiving calls today seems a somewhat insignificant, easily overlooked feature of what now essentially amount to small, albeit ferociously powerful, personal computers.

The personal computer that has dominated our lives up until now has been, without doubt, the desktop computer, the experience of accessing the Internet on a mobile device having traditionally been fraught with difficulties and, more often than not, one characterised by intense disappointment. Yet with the help of advances in mobile hardware as well as software, the increasing availability of wireless, 3G and even 4G high-speed Internet, not to mention increased awareness and cooperation on behalf of designers and developers themselves, things are beginning to change fast with mobile devices now emerging as serious contenders to the desktop computer.

In 2009, Goldman Sachs economist, Mary Meek, predicted that over the following five years more users would begin to connect to the Internet through a mobile device than on a desktop computer. As of 2012, there are already more smart phones being sold worldwide than desktops with Gartner’s, one of the world’s leading IT research companies, predicting that mobiles will, ahead of schedule, surpass personal computers as the most common means of accessing the web. Meek has argued that the world is currently in the midst of its fifth major technology cycle of the past half century, the Mobile Internet Era – the four prior to it being the mainframe era of the 1950s and 60s, the mini-computer era of the 1970s, the desktop computer era of the 1980s and the desktop internet era of the 1990s and 2000s. If this cycle is as big as its four predecessors – and the sheer numbers involved suggest it will be even bigger – then those able to rise to the challenge of providing what users want, when they want it, will be more than compensated for their efforts.

The problem is that, until recently, few businesses, designers and developers have been able to fully grasp the importance of what is happening, many of them choosing to ignore the medium entirely. Designing for mobile devices presents its own unique challenges separate from those encountered when designing for the desktop, not least of all that of having to contend with a smaller screen.

Nevertheless, in the words of mobile Internet design expert, Luke Wroblewski, “Mobile, if it happened at all, has been a port of the desktop version that was conceived of, designed and built before anyone even considered the mobile experience.” Additional problems arise when considering the sobering fact that the vast majority of users do not yet own devices as feature-rich and technically competent as the iPhone 4S, which, like the 8000X back in the eighties, today still remains predominantly the preserve of the relatively wealthy.

Yet from a business perspective, it is hugely important to try and establish a strategy aimed at satisfying the demands of all elements of this increasingly important, growing target market, not just a privileged few. As many key players in the industry have already said, those involved in coming up with such strategies will, ultimately, have to start to do this by reversing the current trend of focusing on the desktop and begin designing for the mobile first.

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[ARG] Cablevisión denunciará a Telefónica y Telecom por competencia desleal

Según autoridades de Cablevisión, ambas empresas buscan sumar clientes haciendo mención a la situación de Fibertel, en lugar de aplicar estrategias de competencia vinculadas con sus propios servicios. “Tenemos grabadas y certificadas conversaciones donde vendedores de estas dos compañías les aconsejan a nuestros clientes no pagar por el acceso a Internet sobre la base de la supuesta desaparición de Fibertel y les ofrecen pasarse de prestadora de manera gratuita”, comentó a El Cronista Carlos Moltini, gerente General de Cablevisión.


Es por la avanzada de las empresas de Internet Speedy y Arnet para quedarse con cliente de Fibertel. Ambas empresas utilizan la eventual desaparición de Fibertel como argumento de venta.

Tanto Speedy -propiedad de Telefónica- como en Arnet -de Telecom- lanzaron campañas en la vía pública y acciones de telemarketing para promocionar sus servicios de banda ancha este fin de semana. Algunas, inclusive, anunciaron que bonificarán todos los costos de instalación y módem, según lo exige la resolución 102/2010 de la Secretaría de Comunicaciones. Leer más “[ARG] Cablevisión denunciará a Telefónica y Telecom por competencia desleal”

Net Neutrality: What’s Really Going on?

“Net neutrality is dead!” “Net neutrality lives!” “Google has sold out!” “Google denies selling out!”

The past couple of days have seen contradictory reports about the state of the Federal Communications Commission’s push for network neutrality, all culminating yesterday when the FCC announced that it had called off closed-door net neutrality talks between major industry players such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Google. Net neutrality refers to the principle that ISPs should not be allowed to block or degrade Internet traffic from their competitors in order to speed up their own.

What you need to know about the FCC’s broadband plan

Since the flurry of activity surrounding net neutrality yesterday was often confusing, let’s try to pin down what we know.

The New York Times got the ball rolling two days ago when it reported through anonymous sources that Google and Verizon were near a deal that would let Verizon “speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.” While the deal between Verizon and Google was separate from the talks the FCC had been having with major industry players, the newspaper noted the deal between two major industry players “could upend the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to assert its authority over broadband service.”

It didn’t take long for net neutrality advocates for sound the alarm, as Free Press President Josh Silver wrote at the Huffington Post that the Verizon-Google deal would mark “the end of the Internet as we know it.” Google, which has traditionally been viewed as a proponent of net neutrality and has worked with consumer advocacy groups to press for net neutrality in the past, quickly denied that it had reached any sort of deal with Verizon. The FCC, fearing a backlash from consumer groups over its backroom negotiations, soon after called off its separate talks with industry leaders.

Artwork: Chip TaylorSo where does all this leave network neutrality? The answer is that no one really knows, although the commission could always go back to its previous plan outlined by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski this past May, where the commission would reclassify ISPs as common carriers while at the same time insisting that ISPs be exempt from the vast majority of regulations in the current common carrier rules. But this plan has run into a buzzsaw from both the telecommunications industry and from members of Congress in both parties, who implored the FCC to drop its reclassification plan and instead either work with Congress to get net neutrality rules or simply drop the subject all together.


Brad Reed, NetworkWorld

Net neutrality is dead!” “Net neutrality lives!” “Google has sold out!” “Google denies selling out!”

The past couple of days have seen contradictory reports about the state of the Federal Communications Commission’s push for network neutrality, all culminating yesterday when the FCC announced that it had called off closed-door net neutrality talks between major industry players such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Google. Net neutrality refers to the principle that ISPs should not be allowed to block or degrade Internet traffic from their competitors in order to speed up their own.

What you need to know about the FCC’s broadband plan

Since the flurry of activity surrounding net neutrality yesterday was often confusing, let’s try to pin down what we know.

The New York Times got the ball rolling two days ago when it reported through anonymous sources that Google and Verizon were near a deal that would let Verizon “speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.” While the deal between Verizon and Google was separate from the talks the FCC had been having with major industry players, the newspaper noted the deal between two major industry players “could upend the efforts of the Federal Communications Commission to assert its authority over broadband service.”

It didn’t take long for net neutrality advocates for sound the alarm, as Free Press President Josh Silver wrote at the Huffington Post that the Verizon-Google deal would mark “the end of the Internet as we know it.” Google, which has traditionally been viewed as a proponent of net neutrality and has worked with consumer advocacy groups to press for net neutrality in the past, quickly denied that it had reached any sort of deal with Verizon. The FCC, fearing a backlash from consumer groups over its backroom negotiations, soon after called off its separate talks with industry leaders.

Artwork: Chip TaylorSo where does all this leave network neutrality? The answer is that no one really knows, although the commission could always go back to its previous plan outlined by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski this past May, where the commission would reclassify ISPs as common carriers while at the same time insisting that ISPs be exempt from the vast majority of regulations in the current common carrier rules. But this plan has run into a buzzsaw from both the telecommunications industry and from members of Congress in both parties, who implored the FCC to drop its reclassification plan and instead either work with Congress to get net neutrality rules or simply drop the subject all together. Leer más “Net Neutrality: What’s Really Going on?”

Powerkiss’s technology consists of two parts: a charging transmitter that gets integrated


That mobile phone charging is a universal nuisance is underscored by all the many efforts we’ve seen to alleviate the pain, including harnessing the wind, the sun, bicycles, dancers and foot pumps to make it easier. With similar intentions, Finnish Powerkiss has developed an approach that imbues everyday furniture with wireless charging capabilities. Leer más “Powerkiss’s technology consists of two parts: a charging transmitter that gets integrated”

Movistar ya tiene agencias: Publicis y Mother


Movistar heredó una carga en profundidad al convertirse en la enseña estandarte de Telefónica. Se imponía, por tanto, un concurso (mundial, ¿por qué no?), para elegir las agencias que habrían de comunicar la nueva situación territorial de la marca Movistar.


La decisión acaba de ser tomada a favor de dos agencias que no estaban en el pool habitual de Telefónica: la oficina española de Publicis y la internacional Mother han ganado el concurso. Atrás han quedado casi cuatro meses de presentaciones (el proceso comenzó el 18 de noviembre del pasado año) tras los que las dos elegidas vencieron a McCann, la otra dignísima finalista. Leer más “Movistar ya tiene agencias: Publicis y Mother”