Web Trends

Soon, everybody will carry a tablet

I still can remember when mobile phones or cell phones started to be so popular. Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and many others. Model after model every few weeks or months keep popping up to the market. I can’t even afford one that time, and we actually share one Nokia 3210 for the whole family. But now, every one of us has at least one.

Now, people are crazy about tablets. It was probably started by the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, now everybody is making tablets. Not to speak about touch screen phones, which is quite common already and almost everybody will carry one.

So, looking back at the history, soon enough, tablets will become one of the ‘must have’ along with your touch screen phone and a notebook.

What does it have to do with web development? Good question Fendy!

It was the battle of touch screen phones (and probably still ongoing) and now the tablets. They are quite similar, but tablets are normally bigger. It made a major swift for mobile websites since the appearance of iPhone. From the so limited version of websites (before iPhone) to some optimized for touch screen websites like one that Facebook and Twitter have. But this might not have the same impact with the birth of tablets era.

First of all, they are all mobile devices. Luckily enough that the tablets has web browser that support full-featured websites (support all the features that computer can display). But there are major changes in terms of user interaction. Just like touch screen phones, tablets’ main input is the touch screen. Features like sliding and multitouch are common. While in normal computer, you don’t normally use your mouse to slide the pages, or have multiple mouse pointer that can touch multiple places at one time. Tablets don’t normally have keyboard. It uses virtual keyboard which is not always available. It will only appear when you need it. So, keyboard shortcuts might not a good idea.

Some mobile web browsers doesn’t support certain features. For example for Safari in iOs (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch), it doesn’t support Flash. So, if you wan’t your websites to be viewed nicely on iPad, you better don’t put any flash content.

More devices means more thing to test. It was already quite frustrating to make a website that can be viewed nicely in all web browsers. With the trending of tablets computing, it means many more platforms to be tested on.

Some might prefer to maintain single design but optimzed for tablets, some keep many different versions, some may not even bother. For me, I don’t care much right now.


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