Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

Nokia and Backbase cooperate on Mobile AJAX

Category: Ajax, Mobile

According to this post, Backbase and Nokia are collaborating together on a study of current and potential Ajax use on mobile devices.

In 5 to 10 year consumers are expected to browse the Internet increasingly via mobile devices, and less often via desktop PCs. Mobile AJAX can significantly increase the user experience of mobile web applications, but there are still several areas that need need further research.

They mention that Nokia has already placed themselves well in the market, pushing their web browser onto their S60 devices. Unfortunately, there are also several limitations that come along with these devices, including small screens and slow connections.

The goal of the project is to look for creative and innovative solutions to the issues they’re finding within the limits of the technology available today. Other companies are also helping out, including Mozilla and Opera.

Posted by Chris Cornutt at 8:10 am
4 Comments

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Interestingly, right now it seems accessibility is the key success factor for mobile browsing – something Ajax kindof sucks at.
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Ajax is also good at reducing time on repeated tasks, but web use on mobile phones is largely incidental. Also, rich UI’s make web apps feel more like desktop ones – but is that relevant on a mobile device?
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Another use case is collaboration (real time and such) – but phones can drop in and out of service and suffer from poor quality connections sometimes.. will these apps just gracefully degrade?
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What are the use cases in other words.. can anybody think of some?

Comment by Alexei — July 26, 2006

I think most of the real inovation in mobile browsing is going to be on the backend and in integration with the features of the mobile device.

Browsing will be a small set of the usage for mobiles. The real usage will be targeted information retreival, and that’s a very different mind set then browsing and searching.

Ajax will have it’s place but I think on the mobile it’s going to be subtle due to the screen size and input limitations.

Comment by Shawn McCollum — July 26, 2006

The W3C Draft recommends that the default pages come in under 20kb including all items (code + images). You’re stuck with displaying plain text because you only have 120 pixels width to work with(older/smaller PDAs).
By using a vanilla approch instead of “effectified” you get the job done quickly. This is more important to someone “on the go” than “let’s click 3 things first to get a result”.

Usability stands in the forefront for mobile devices. Use things like 1 to assign identifiers that people can use on their phone to get to their destination quicker.

Comment by Alex — July 26, 2006

Backbase quietly removed the article from their blog, so I’d say that the cooperation with Nokia was more of a wishfull thinking on Backbase’s side than reality.

Comment by Don Bron — August 2, 2006

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