This year, we’ve talked about the mobile enterprise (it is the name of the column, after all). And though we’ve talked a lot about the importance of mobile compatibility from a business perspective, we haven’t talked much about how to go about making mobile websites compatible with mobile devices.

The Right Mobile Application to Develop

This week, W3C announced a new standard that will make it easier for developers and content providers to create dynamic mobile Web applications. The Mobile Web Application Best Practices, published as a W3C Recommendation, aims to provide practical advice from many mobile Web stakeholders for the easy development and deployment of mobile Web applications that work across many platforms.

The list of best practices was compiled by the Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) Working Group, which was made up of key leaders from the mobile industry, and offers guidance on which Web technologies are particularly relevant on mobile devices.

Additionally, the folks at CakeMail, a Canadian email marketing software company, took the time to layout the many mobile application development platforms one can use to make your website compatible with the slew of mobile devices.

I won’t attempt to replicate the article, as I won’t do it justice, but I will summarize a few of the key points that it brings up.

  • The mobile web is moving forward. Right now it’s all aboard or see you later. If you haven’t thought carefully about your mobile development strategy, you need to assemble a team of crackerjack designers and developers to help get you up to speed, or risk losing a large proportion of users. Choosing the right framework requires some understanding of your audience and the web experience you want them to be a part of.
  • It would be way easier if you could just design for the iPhone. But you can’t. With the Android gaining popularity and BlackBerry catching up, companies must prepare to meet the standards of more than just one mobile device. That doesn’t mean that you have to take on all of them, but it doesn’t mean you can ignore them altogether.

CakeMail says “mobile will be a huge market in the future, especially as devices and frameworks become more and more advanced.” We agree and we look forward to the future of the mobile web.

The End of an Era?

Remember when Apple dominated the smartphone market? That was so yesterday. According to a Reuters report, RIM has caught up. In the past three months, RIM has shipped an estimated 14.1 million BlackBerrys, matching Apple's total from the previous quarter.

Increased sales are attributed to the release of the new BlackBerry Torch, a touchscreen phone with a slide-out keyboard and an overhauled OS. While it’s unknown if Steve Jobs has something up his sleeve to release in 2011 that will out do 2010, for now, it will be interesting to see how Apple responds.

As well, with Verizon users able to buy plans via iPhone come January, Apple’s next quarter sales could bounce back making this RIM surge temporary.

Regardless, competition in the mobile marketplace is always welcome and can lead to new developments, applications and distractions.