We're excited to announce a mobile version of the IEEE Spectrum Web site. If you navigate to spectrum.ieee.org from an iPhone, Blackberry, or Android phone, you'll be automatically redirected to our mobile site. (Automatic redirects for other phones will go into effect soon as well. To get a preview, you can visit m.spectrum.ieee.org directly.)
We do feel a little sheepish that we've ignored the small screens of mobile devices for so long, but we feel the new version is better late than never (especially now that we've named smartphones the #1 most important technology of the last decade).
The first thing you'll notice about the mobile homepage is that the content has been reorganized so that the latest news is right at the top. Below that, you'll see additional featured content, selected by the editors throughout the week. At the bottom of the homepage, you'll find direct links to all our blogs.
We were able to create this mobile site with the help of Mobify. Their unique service allows users to select certain blocks of HTML from the primary Web site and use them to build mobile-specific page templates. They also help shrink images to more manageable dimensions and file sizes. In addition to being easier to navigate, the new mobile site should be much quicker to load on bandwidth-limited phones.
Multimedia content can be a bit tricky to support on mobile devices. If your smartphone browser supports Flash, you should have no problems watching videos, listening to podcasts, or viewing slideshows. If your browser lacks Flash, but supports HTML5 <audio> and <video> elements (I'm looking at you, iPhone users), you should still be able to see everything, albeit with limited functionality. If your mobile browser can't do either, you won't be able to view videos or slideshow, but you can still listen to podcasts by clicking the "Download mp3" link.
We wanted to keep things basic with this initial version. You'll find that navigation by subject, commenting, and other features are not included in the mobile site. If you miss any of those, or other functions, you can always use the large "Full Site" button to navigate back to the main site.
As we look to continually improve both versions of the site, your feedback is immensely helpful. Let us know how you're using the existing features, and let us know which missing features you'd most like to have. Leave a comment below (if you're at your computer) or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.