In discussing the limitations of mobile devices for delivery of Web content it is easy to lose sight of the fact that they are extremely popular and very common.
This popularity largely stems at present from them being:
- and increasingly multi-functional beyond their original purpose of voice communications.
In addition to these factors, the advantages of mobile devices will increasingly
- location awareness
- one-handed operation
- always on
- universal alerting device
By way of illustration of some of these factors: the Web can go where you go. You do not have to remember to do something on the Web when you get back to your computer. You can do it immediately, within the context that made you want to use the Web in the first place.
Moreover, with mobile devices appearing in all shapes and forms, and with a growing variety of features like location technology, cameras, voice recognition, touch screens etc, the Web can reach a much wider audience, and at all times in all situations. It has the opportunity to reach into places where wires cannot go, to places previously unthinkable (e.g. providing medical info to mountain rescue scenes) and to accompany everyone as easily as they carry the time on their wristwatches.
Finally, today, many more people have access to mobile devices than access to a desktop computer. This is likely to be very significant in developing countries, where Web-capable mobile devices may play as similar a role in deploying wide-spread Web access as the mobile phone has played for providing “plain old telephone service”.