The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

IEEE Spectrum on Your Phone: New and Improved!

Major overhaul puts desktop experience in the palm of your hand

2 min read
IEEE Spectrum on Your Phone: New and Improved!

If you routinely visit IEEE Spectrum on your phone, you've probably noticed some big changes recently. If you've never tried looking at this site on your phone, now's the perfect time to start! We've made major overhauls to the the mobile view—here's a brief sample of what's new.

Fully Featured

Long gone are the days of redirecting phones to a separate domain. Now, the mobile-friendly version of the site is served from the exact same pages as the desktop site, which means it's always up to date. (Removing redirection also makes the mobile pages load faster.)

By serving both desktop and mobile views from a common page, we're now able to bring more of the desktop browser features to the phone. For example, now you'll find a dropdown menu in the mobile view that you can use to drill down to content the same way you can on the main site. It allows you to easily access the articles from the current month's magazine issue (and archive of past issues), browse by topic, or explore our in-depth special reports.

The mobile homepage features the top stories from each of our three tabs (most recent, most viewed, and most commented), and article layouts include all the photos and graphics of the desktop site.

"Responsive" vs "Adaptive" and the Need for Speed

If you follow the field of web design, you may be familiar with the debate between "responsive" designs (where all page elements continually resize to fit any display) and "adaptive" designs (which focus more on making  layouts that are usable across a subset of sizes). We decided to take the adaptive approach in this iteration of the site, largely because it allowed us to build mobile pages that load much faster.

Under the hood of our new mobile web design is a software library called Mobify.js. It allows us to pick and choose which elements of a page get loaded to the mobile view. This makes the site faster, because we only load the assets that are needed, and nothing that we don't need. We're working on a few additional performance tweaks to images that should make pages load even faster.

Native Multimedia, No Flash Necessary

In the new design you'll notice how easy it is to watch videos, listen to podcasts, and view photo slideshows. Multimedia elements are sized to the screen and YouTube videos play through the native iOS or Android player.

More Features on the Horizon

This is just the beginning of our mobile improvements. In the coming months you'll be able to enjoy full-featured comment sections and site-wide search. In the meantime if you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to email me directly:

Finally, I'd like to thank our talented development team who worked hard on this project: Ken Liu, Maurice Cruz, Mythili Bagavandas, and Venugopal Giriyappanavar.

The Conversation (0)

Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

Keep Reading ↓Show less