Mobile Web Access is a term used to describe accessing the internet through mobile devices such as cell phones and PDA's (Personal Digital Assistants). Web enabled mobile devices are becoming more and more common – most cell phones now come with some form of internet and/or data access feature on them.
Mobile web access has many advantages. One of the greatest is that you can take your internet access with you wherever you go – you can download driving directions, find nearby restaurants, use online yellow pages, to name a few uses.
Mobile web access could play a vital role in other tasks as well. Take for example a remote search and rescue mission – rescue teams could use the internet to download medical information or to communicate with other authorities. Improved mobile web access could improve communication abilities for anyone on the move – salesmen, law enforcement officers, truckers, pizza delivery drivers, etc.
The mobile web has a bright and promising future, but it needs some work and development if it is going to reach it's full potential. Mobile web access currently faces many usability issues, due largely to the lack of interoperability between computers and mobile devices.
One example is the small screen size of mobile devices. The small screen size means that they cannot view most standard websites. There are websites designed specifically for mobile devices, which is excellent. Ideally, though, a standard could be developed to allow mobile device users to easily view any website.
The W3C, the organization who administers many web standards (including HTML), is taking steps to improve the usability of the mobile web. They are attempting to lay down standards, best practices, recommendations, and work on interoperability between devices. Mobile devices are widely variant, unlike computers, which can be distinguished by a few characteristics, as far as web browsing is concerned.
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