Browsing the web on a mobile phone is still a less than satisfying experience – and that’s without taking connection speeds into account. Mobile phone browsers have always been simpler, less featured affairs due to memory and processor limitations. Consequently phone users are missing out on a lot of the internet: many site architects don’t bother testing with mobile browsers, or can’t be bothered writing for them. We can’t blame them either – often the browsers themselves are inconsistent, or writing for them is unimaginably painful. We wrote a WAP application a couple of years ago and we’re sure it’s responsible for some of the bad dreams we have still.
Picsel Technologies have a browser that uses their ePAGE multi-media content engine to give phone users a better experience on the web, without site providers having to write special portals for phones.
Instead of staring at tiny text on a page, the Picsel browser allows users to zoom in on any content and pan it about with Live Pan and Zoom. LPZ is compatible with a range of input methods, so you’ll be able to use it with a stylus or phone joystick.
The browser will also resize content to fit the width of the screen, avoiding all that tedious back and forth scrolling, just because someone doesn’t know how to properly set table widths in Dreamweaver. File filters for Microsoft Word and Adobe’s PDF are welcome additions, and should ensure that you can read the majority of things you get sent at the last minute for reading on the train to your meetings.
The first phone to feature the browser is Motorola’s A768 smartphone. The A768 is based on Linux, but Picsel will also be providing their browser for Motorola’s MPX smartphone which is based on Microsoft Windows Mobile.