Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Category: iPhone, WebKit

iPod Touch and iPhone sitting in a tree...

The reach of your iphone.*.com domain has now grown as some are talking about.

With the iPod Touch release, there are soon going to be a LOT of users of the Mobile Safari browser. There will be a large set of people who want the WiFi iPod, but don’t need the phone.

Also, for those who want the phone, it is $200 cheaper. I think it is safe to say that there will be many iP* devices hitting the web come holiday time.

The big decision is…… what do you call the domain? i.*.com instead of m.*.com? :)

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:15 am

3.6 rating from 23 votes


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Are we really back in the days of having a website per user-agent? Cuh.

Comment by Jake Archibald — September 6, 2007

I prefer – no matter what device I use. ;)

Comment by Dominik Hahn — September 6, 2007

I have to totally agree with Jake. Why would you have iPod/iPhone specific anything. There is nothing that the iSafari browser can do that windows mobile and Palm browsers (opera, IE, MiniMo, etc) can’t do (caveat: at the moment – there are some none standard DOM and JS object inclusions but AFAIK no one has found out what they do – but they’re actually far outweighed by what’s missing).

Why limit yourself to a thin sliver of the mobile web market. Apple might currently be selling than any other single hardware vendor, but they are by no means a substantial OS level part of the segment.

Comment by JP — September 6, 2007

I’ll use, there is only one iPod with wifi, there is no point to call it ipodtouch.

Comment by Parel — September 6, 2007

use “i” for iPhone and iPod

use “m” for other mobile devices in obsolescence

Comment by scriptkiddie — September 6, 2007

[…]Also, for those who want the phone, it is $200 cheaper. I think it is safe to say that there will be many iP* devices hitting the web come holiday time.[…]

they lowered the price for the iPhone from 599 to 399
read this:

Comment by Helge Laurishc — September 6, 2007

>Why limit yourself to a thin sliver of the mobile web market.

Because that sliver consists of people who might actually *use* the browser on their mobile device.

Comment by LKM — September 6, 2007

The challenge is interesting though. We keep designing websites that have to be rendered in different browsers, different systems, and we talk about making the design such that it looks nice on all, if not equally accurate. So interestingly, could someone now come up with design aesthetics that make a site look good in a browser universe that includes the iphone/ipod safari? My initial guess is that websites would become more minimalistic, liquid-ish, and the dependence on javascript in building webapps is going to transform a bit.

Or, everyone’s going to throw their hands up in the air and say f**k it, let’s just make device specific domains. And they’re going to get bumped wshen eventually, say in 3 years, the form factor for the ipod/iphone changes again.

Aargh, that’s gonna suck.

Comment by Pi — September 6, 2007

What about downplaying the Apple branding and labeling it for what it is? Like msafari.domain.tld or mwk.domain.tld. (mwk = mobile webkit)

Or maybe I like even better: mr.domain.tld for mobile rich (supports so-called “rich” content — ajax, dom, etc.) and ml.domain.tld for mobile limited (straight html rendering).

The advantage there is you can just detect the feature you need rather than hard coding specific values, so that as other mobile browsers add DOM or whatever your ip/hone/od page requires, it will work.

Stuff like that.

Comment by Peter Hanley — September 6, 2007

I love the idea of i. for iPhones and iPods and m. for mobile sites. Clever conventions.

Comment by Jeff — September 6, 2007

m.*.com for mobile and if you really *need* iPhone/iPod specific, then i.*.com. That shouldn’t really be needed for blogs like this one though, just stick with mobile.

Comment by Andy Kant — September 6, 2007

If somebody is willing make an iPhone/iPod/iWhatever-optimized site that presumably has streamlined content, less sidebars, narrower widths, and less advertisements (or maybe no ads?) that will hamper the mobile user experience — why aren’t you willing to make those same optimizations for all browsers?

Comment by Jase — September 6, 2007

iWhatever specific sites are just like the IE specific sites a while back, by now everybody agrees that having a standardized web is the way to go, so why start the whole discussion again? I have to agree that the iPhone is disruptive but others will follow soon and we should not limit ourselfs by becoming Apple-Junkies…
So thumbs up for all the developers staying open for alternatives :-)

Comment by Christian Decker — September 6, 2007

@ Christian: this was also my opinion until I bought a smartphone myself. Even with a decent browser (Opera 8.6 in my case) the display is way too small to view regular web pages. Even with the nifty Nokia S60 browser it’s not great. Web pages that are optimized for the 320×240 resolution work so much better. iPhone has 480×320. In my opinion it would be a better idea to optimize web apps for screen size. And if you add some Ajax features, make sure they degrade gracefully on older mobile browsers such as Pocket IE: this avoids having to build sites specific to one device.

Comment by Jep Castelein - Backbase — September 6, 2007

This whole i-craze is pretty pathetic, and not to mention a tremendous waste of time/effort/resources.

Design for all mobile devices, period.

The iPod Touch and the iPhone are the worst thing to happen to the web in the past 10 years.

Comment by xxdesmus — September 6, 2007

>The iPod Touch and the iPhone are the worst
> thing to happen to the web in the past 10 years.

Wow, you must have been sleeping for the better part of that timespan. You sure missed a lot of bad things.

I don’t see the harm in creating secondary i*-oriented pages. This is not comparable to the Explorer issue because Explorer-optimized sites often did not run on other browsers at all, and generally gave Explorer users a better, yet non-standard experience. The iPhone sites, on the other hand, are generally just stripped-down versions of the main site, so it’s not like you’re missing anything by not having an iPhone.

Comment by LKM — September 7, 2007

@Jep: I perfectly agree with you that some sort of optimization for smaller screens might be usefull, what I do have a problem with is the whole iCrazyness. Safari is pretty good, but it’s not the only player in this market. People just shouldn’t lock in too tightly by optimizing for it.

Comment by Christian Decker — September 7, 2007


That’s not entirely true. i*-oriented pages are sometimes fairly advanced pages that likely took a good chunk of time to create for i* related mobile browsers.

It would be like designers spending a good chunk of time on designing for Opera. I say Opera because it still has a VERY tiny chunk of the marketplace as does the i* products.

BTW, I think we could start a new trend with this ” i* products” thing…it’s got a nice ring to it.

Comment by xxdesmus — September 7, 2007

@xxdesmus: But Opera is perfectly capable of showing all web pages, and is usually used on devices with big screens. What would you write for Opera that you would not also write for other “big” browsers?

Comment by LKM — September 10, 2007

The reason we are building an “i” optimized site is to impress our investor (he requested it). Fact is mobile safari is growing like crazy and the user experience far surpasses any of the competition. To me, it looks like a huge % of mobile market share is headed toward apple. Why do it half assed when you can optimize for a richer experience.

Don’t forget, from an apple user standpoint this is a definite winner. That’s what really matters, isn’t it?

BTW, we are also doing a generic mobile version and it’s just not as elegant as the “i” site.

Comment by phil — September 19, 2007

I use i agree that there is only one iPod with wifi

Comment by indiatadalafil — November 2, 2007

This technology is crazy. 10 years ago I bought mp3 player called DivaMP3. It had 256 mb. It costed 300$. Now I can have better one for 25$. It is funny.

Comment by Tapety — December 16, 2007

I love mp3 players and ipods. I`m happy when I listen music. Music is my life. I have got creative zen player, it is very good.

Comment by kaspergo — December 23, 2007

I’m actually adding this from an iPod touch, laying in bed and I really can’t complain. My biggest dissapointment in this thing was that my safari bookmarks did NOT transfer when I synced. I figured that would have been a given. However, not having to go get my laptop to check engadget,and risk waking my girlfriend, priceless.

Comment by tapetynapulpit — June 3, 2009

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