The web on my moby

The humidity here in London is unbearable at the moment. But the seats at the very back of the top deck of the 79 bus are a concentration-point for a vortex of air to provide a bit of cooling relief from the oppressiveness outside. It was in this situation that I decided I’d while away the journey home the other day by painstakingly visiting each one of the top ten websites in the UK: but from my mobile phone. (The top ten websites in the UK according to traffic-ranking service Alexa that is.)

Now, if you ever tried to visit this web-page by typing http://www.route79.com into the browser on your mobile phone, you would get a page that is not exactly like the one you are seeing here on your PC. Instead you will get a “version” of the page which is much easier to see on the small screen of your phone, and designed especially to load as quickly as possible, as shown in the image below. Now, this website is probably not even in the top million most popular websites in the world, but at least I offer a “designed for mobile” page if you go to it on your mobile phone. After all, there are more phones than PCs out there, and increasingly better browsers.

How do you think the websites of the “big boys” look then? Click on the green button below to load the slideshow which shows how the top ten most popular UK websites look like on a popular mobile phone (Sony Ericsson K800i).


When the images have loaded, “hover” your mouse over the red numbered buttons to get a prognosis of that nth most popular UK website as viewed on a mobile phone. (You also get a really cool effect if you just slide your mouse horizontally over the red buttons, from left to right and back again really fast.)

Summary:

Top of the class: Google (for search), Yahoo, BBC News, Facebook, Windows Live
Bottom of the class: Ebay, Bebo, Myspace, YouTube
Expelled: MSN

(This article was created for this week’s Carnival of the Mobilists, a weekly roundup of the best articles about all things mobile. Each week the “Carnivalâ€? is hosted by different bloggers writing about the industry. This week’s Carnival [number 78] is hosted at Symbian Guru; check it out.)

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UPDATE: Over the weekend, Google announced a mobile version of YouTube. (Thanks Gaurav for pointing it out in the comments!). Interestingly you have to go to a different address to get the mobile version (m.youtube.com) as if you go to www.youtube.com on your mobile it doesn’t automatically redirect you to the mobile version. Tut tut. (Also: having subsequently tried going to m.youtube.com and randomly choosing a video to view; my phone just said “connecting to media server” for ages and then splurted an error “failed to connect to media server“. It’s experiences like this which will make the majority (if they try it once) never bother it again unless forced to.

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