Monday, November 28, 2005

Coming soon: better browsing for your cell phone

The San Jose Mercury News reports that web browsing via the cell phone is finally starting to get better. Gartner analyst Van Baker said, "Usability is hugely important,. If it's too cumbersome, too complex, then people will reject it as they've done earlier."

According to Forrester Research, "the number of U.S. mobile phone customers who use data applications has already jumped from 6 percent last year to 15 percent in 2005." This combined with the move to higher-speed networks means the industry needs to improve the whole browsing experience.

One step in the right direction is Google's latest Java app for search, mapping and driving-directions. Charles Golvin at Forrester Research said, "I think that what they've done is take their usual simple interface, easy-to-access services and translated that to a pretty good product for mainstream phones."

While things are getting better, analysts note a lot still needs to be done. Baker added, "Eventually someone will get it right."