iPhone specific sites

Google has created an iPhone specific search page, I came across this via TUAW.

I tried the search page and it works pretty well for a demo.

What bothered me was this comment in the TUAW post:

But the problem with this goes right back to what Scott was talking about the other day— we aren’t supposed to be getting half the web on the iPhone, we’re supposed to be getting the real web. In this case, there’s not much to complain about– this really is Google, minus the extra content and the ads. However, the links actually go to regular browser windows (not iPhone formatted sites), and if you hit “More Results” at the bottom of the page, it takes you to a normal, full-screen Google page anyway. So what’s the point? Yes, this is just a demo, but why bother making an iPhone specific page in the first place? iPhone users should be able to browse to the Google homepage like everyone else.

While Apple may have meant Safari on the iPhone to allow users to browse the normal web, the reality is that the normal web is designed for displays a lot larger than that on the iPhone, even though it is an exceptional display.

Frankly, when I bring up a complex web page, such as the NY Times front page, on my iPhone, it is nice that I can see the whole page but the text looks like fly poop to me (and I have good vision) and I need to zoom to read anything.

I think it makes much more sense to have web pages specifically designed for mobile devices, so they can be optimized for smaller screens and lower bandwidth (EDGE, ahem).

Functionally I think it is much nicer for the user to get a page which they can read without having to zoom right off the bat and just scroll to read more, than getting a page which needs to be zoomed to read anything at all.


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