Apple iPhone

The Apple iPhone, the start of a mobile web revolution?

Maybe not, but it's definitely a big step in the right direction. Steve Jobs keynote speech from the Apple Macworld conference certainly makes the iPhone look like a worthy addition to any gadget addicts shopping list.

Safari on the iPhone looks amazing and it is definitely a major step forward for the mobile web. It is a bold move by Apple to opt to provide a true representation of websites on the iPhone rather than opt for a linearised version as previous mobile devices have. The zoom feature looks really impressive and provides a great solution to browsing current websites on a smaller screen. It would be good if the iPhone offered a linearised view in addition as I can imagine horizontal scrolling could become frustrating on content intensive sites.

On the downside the text input looked painfully slow using the touch screen keyboard. I'd be interested to know if the keyboard can be flipped into a landscape orientation so it's possible to type with both thumbs, which is much faster than typing with a single finger in the way Steve Jobs was using the iPhone in the keynote. If this isn't possible, perhaps due to the dimensions of the device above all, that would potentially write the iPhone off my list as single fingered text entry would be like going back to black and white TV.

All in all there's no denying the fact that Apple have raised the bar and have pushed the boundaries as regards browsing the web on mobile devices. The iPhone will hopefully spark a new generation of mobile devices that provide a browsing experience as rich as that we are used to on desktop computers. Hopefully this advancement will increase customer demand for more affordable mobile internet data tarrifs and only then will the mobile web really take off.

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Michael Walsh by Michael Walsh