On Monday, a Mobile Monday Tokyo event themed “Mobile Browser UI Designs & Standards” took place in KDDI’s Designing Studio in Harajuku. The entrance fee was between 1,000 and 2,000 Yen and an impressive 150 people showed up.
While the venue itself was really cool, I am not sure if letting guests sit on stairs or stand for more than hour is a good idea. Maybe the organizers should reconsider their choice for next time.
Two presentations on Internet browsing on mobile devices were held, followed by an extensive networking part.
The Future of Web browsing
Michael Smith from W3C spoke about a number of topics on current and future trends in mobile browsing.
He predicted proxy browsers will be installed on mobile devices in the near future, replacing native software (like the i-mode browser for example). Proxied browsing is enabled by using software such as Opera Mini, Skyfire or Japan’s very own jig.
Mike also pointed to the fact that browsers on cellular phones already use the same web engines as desktop browsers as a fundament. For example, he made clear that Opera’s Presto engine is used as the basis of KDDI/au’s PC site viewer. Also Safari’s Webkit web engine is integrated in the browser of the iPhone.
According to Mike, millions of users are thus able to access the web via sophisticated software on their mobile phones now which was impossible in the past.
Mike made a number of other interesting points.
Mozilla Mobile Browsing
Jay Sullivan from Mozilla delivered a presentation on how his company views mobile browsing in the future. According to Jay, Mozilla was relatively inactive in terms of development of mobile applications until now.
He said though Firefox for mobile devices -which is in its core built on original Firefox code- is already established to some extent. The Nokia 810, for example, has Firefox preinstalled. Also Skyfire uses Mozilla software as proxy engine.
Jay also stressed Mozilla ultimately sees the web as a complete mobile platform. There should be no major differences between browsing the Internet on a mobile device as opposed to a PC.
These are just some key points of Jay’s presentation which seemed interesting to me.
I don’t understand what the big deal is about “mobile browsing”. It seems like this problem has already been solved by putting Safari on the iPhone and iPod.
I hate to point this out but the Mozilla presenter keep making this “-er” noise and it’s really distracting from the presentation.
Safari is rather a newcomer after NetFront, Opera, etc. for mobile. Having more options won’t hurt consumers, I reckon.
And iPhone is not available yet in Japan and many other regions so it is difficult to say it is solved, isn’t it?