Using the mobile web poses many challenges
Popular smart phones let us use the web anytime, anywhere. It's easy to read the latest news or to hop online to do some comparison shopping before making a purchase. But, the mobile web requires sacrifices. Mobile browsers can't match desktop versions. They bring a whole new set of annoyances, but it is relatively easy to overcome them. Find links to apps and programs mentioned at komando.com/news.
Many publishers and companies have designed sites for mobile phones. When you visit a site, you're automatically directed to the mobile version. These sites are easy to navigate on your phone's small screen, but they're often limited. You won't get access to all the features of the main site. For example, you may not see photos with blog posts.
There is often an easy way to see the regular site on your phone. Scroll to the bottom of the web page. Look for a Full Site link. Clicking the link will let you browse the standard version of the site. Failing that, you can download an alternative browser for your smart phone. Apple iPhone users should consider Atomic Web Browser ($1). Users of smart phones with Google's Android operating system can try Dolphin Browser (free). Both let you tweak settings; sites will see your browser as a desktop program rather than as a mobile version.
Tabs are one of the handiest features of desktop browsers, but they're missing on mobile phones. So, you may find yourself switching between browser windows. This takes time and can distract you from what you're doing.
Again, using an alternative browser can help. For the iPhone, there's Atomic Web Browser or iCab Mobile ($2). For Android phones, there's Dolphin Browser and Opera Mini (both free). You'll get tabbed browsing, just like you do with desktop browsers.
The lack of Adobe's Flash on mobile phones can be a real drag. After all, many online videos are streamed in Flash format. The latest version of Android, 2.2, nicknamed Froyo, will display Flash videos, but Apple has blocked Flash from its mobile devices.
Fortunately, iPhone users don't need to switch to Android. They just need to download the Cloud Browse app (free). The app connects you to a server that opens a Flash-enabled browser. You'll be able to see Flash content.
Keeping bookmarks synchronized between your computer and phone isn't easy. So, bookmarking a site to read later won't always help you. You'll have to synchronize your phone with your computer to transfer the bookmark.
That's where Xmarks can help. This free service will keep bookmarks synchronized between all major browsers. Just download a small program to your computer. It stores your bookmarks online. You can visit the mobile site to access your bookmarks from your phone.
Most of us don't like filling out online forms. That's true even on desktops and laptops that have full-sized keyboards. It can be downright frustrating on mobile phones.
The iPhone does have an auto-fill feature, but you will need to enable it. Tap Settings, then Safari and then AutoFill. Move the Use Contact Info slider to On. Tap My Info. Find your name in the contact list. If your name isn't there, add yourself as a contact and repeat the steps. You can also use AutoFill for usernames and passwords. Just move the Names & Passwords slider to On.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.