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Browsing on Mobile

#1
Nowadays, phones have taken over the internet market. Google is docking search engine rankings on websites without responsive themes (or without fully responsive ones). Yes, ours is docked too. It’s responsive, but not enough for google. Tongue

I personally spend about 80% of my time browsing the web from a mobile device. It’s rare for me to be on a desktop unless I’m working on something. I still run into quite a few websites that aren’t responsive. At times I end up turning away and finding another website when I see it. 

What are your thoughts on mobile browsing? Do you spend more time on a mobile device or on a desktop/tablet?
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#2
I'm honestly horrified by the idea of having to use a mobile theme.

I know it really can't be avoided in most cases if you use your phone literally at all (and by extension if you use a phone app that uses WebView or something) but jeez, it feels like such bloat sometimes.
Yes, it's supposed to make it easier to navigate by making buttons and links bigger. No, I don't care. Have some dexterity and you can navigate fine.
Especially with Android, if it's not 100% sure what you're tapping on, it'll zoom in for you to try again with more accuracy. I think iOS also does this, don't quote me on it, my iPad Mini is a little f*** right now, but then again I also know that it's just more responsive in general and somehow just knows what you were tapping on, even if it's in a group of like 10 other buttons less than an inch apart.

When I use a website (or the app for a website, i.e. my banking app,) I want it to stay as consistent as possible across devices and platforms. I don't want to remember five different places where a button might be because one day the app might not work so I need to use the (mobile) webpage, then when I get home I use my laptop, and then maybe they also have a desktop client (Electron or something,) you get the idea. It's way too much effort than I can be f*** with, and that's why I don't even have many apps on my phone, just Signal, Authenticator, maybe three games which I never play, and a bunch of utilities. If I need to use FB, email, or other social media, I use the browser (also because FB and other social media apps are notorious for invading everything on your phone for data mining, but that's another story.)

Unfortunately, there's almost no consistency in my experience when it comes to mobile themes or mobile use in general.
That's why I don't even use the banking app for my phone. h***, I'd love to, they've got that feature where you can deposit a cheque by taking a photo of it and it would have saved me countless hours from my last job where they were always too lazy to just set up my d*** direct deposit.

But shit, not only was the whole UI inconsistent, it was missing all kinds of features. Couldn't see transaction history, couldn't see past bank statements, couldn't do certain types of money transfers, all it could really do was check balances, take the photo of the cheque, log in/log out, and use the app as a bank card (the joys of NFC and security vulnerabilities!)

The mobile site wasn't much better, but at least it would render 'normally' if I just requested the desktop version. Some sites don't do that and still have a mobile+desktop version with a different stylesheet or whatever that pisses me off. I know FB is like this to a degree, but at least the FB mobile theme (non-app) is decently consistent, because they're a company that knows what they're doing, and you can still access more or less all the same stuff, minus maybe some rarely-used privacy/security/anti-ads settings that you only really need to touch up every few months or so.
With enough bad experiences like these, I've vowed to just stick to using the browser instead of apps, and if possible, requesting the desktop version as much as possible, unless it's something I'm already really familiar with and mobile-theme isn't too bad in terms of consistency/accessibility (i.e. this site).



I reckon writing a mobile theme would be an absolute nightmare too.
I can't imagine having to use two devices to do something. I quite like live previews in my editors, and with two monitors being able to have one dedicated to preview and one dedicated to code/files/ftp/ssh, etc. that's a good workflow for me. If I had to swap back and forth between my phone on my desk as well as my computer where I had my editor open, I'd lose my mind within the first five minutes.

Yes, I know you can do mobile previews in some editors, or you can try to emulate it with your browser or whatever, but I doubt there's a way to accurately render everything properly 100% on a desktop, since every phone is still gonna render their own version slightly differently. Gotta love the 0% standardization in the world of browsers, and somehow even less in the world of Android.

There's a reason why some apps support or don't support certain phones on the Play Store. Even if you have the right version of Android or whatever, it'll stop you from downloading it if you have a certain phone model, because for some reason every single device has their own Android ROM with different functions built-in and the phone the dev was using to test wasn't the same as the phone that others are using. Complete disaster, I pray that I never need to write a mobile app in my life, unless it's for iOS and I get paid a ton of money to do it.
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#3
Personally not a fan of mobile browsing. I hate that everything has moved that way, as even some sites that are mobile-optimized are horrendous on a desktop. I get apps. Those make sense. But for a website... I hate it.
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#4
It absolutely is a nightmare writing one. We've been working for years to make this one responsive. I have done everything I can to make the mobile display functionality as clear and concise as possible, but there are a lot of differences and I am far from being done. On the bright side, we develop the theme for the desktop first. The mobile display functionality is a second thought. Finna Tongue

On androids, the desktop versions are a little easier to work with. The auto-zoom functionality on iPhones is almost unusable, in my experience. It makes it hard to do even so much as scrolling from one side to the other, or similar.

One thing that I cannot stand is having two separate themes for mobile and for desktop use. Generally the mobile one ends up being horribly done and is missing a lot of functionality. I don't want to lose the website's character just because I'm browsing on mobile. That's a big part of what responsiveness attempts to solve. It's one single theme that adjusts for all devices automatically. (It's a lot of "Hey, if the width of my screen is this, display this menu like X. Otherwise, display it in a more compact way, like Y.")
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#5
I refuse to change my site to use some weird plugin. I sorta cheated my way to keeping it consistent by setting defined minimums in the html and having it scale appropriately. Then I tested it on the various devices I have here using a test page before I uploaded it.

Being able to test it on an I phone 4s, 2 Android phones, a Kindle fire, my desktop, an old MacBook, and a couple 20 year+era machines and have it work the same filled me with confidence. Though it hates ie5, Netscape, and a couple other early 2000s browsers... I've been working on a compatibility mode for them lol.

Sadly only the text only mode works on the ole 286 lol.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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#6
I'm so glad that internet explorer is becoming a thing of the past.

I've finally stopped designing with IE in mind. I literally don't even test anything on it anymore. If anyone is using it, they are probably well acustomed to websites having bugs.

Edge is, however, still a thing, but Edge is Chromium now. And we all know Chromium works reliably well. Smile
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#7
Still not likely to use edge, even if it is chromium based... if only because I hate anything and everything microsoft touches... it's like poison, it corrupts stuff into a specific way of doing things and then paints a massive target on it's back due to the number of ignorant end users who end up using it without knowing what they are doing.

I don't doubt the number of browser viruses chromium gets will be increasing rapidly due to edge.

but then chrome has been a huge leader anyway so... *shrugs*
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
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#8
(March 22nd, 2020 at 2:36 AM)Darth-Apple Wrote: I'm so glad that internet explorer is becoming a thing of the past.

I've finally stopped designing with IE in mind. I literally don't even test anything on it anymore. If anyone is using it, they are probably well accustomed to websites having bugs.

100%. I still have to tell people at work to not use it. Then we get those that say this internal site or application ONLY works with IE.

I go on to make a big deal about it being an unsupported browser and the team that works on said site or application needs to get with the times and at minimum make is able to work with Edge or FireFox. I know they won't, but I still make a big deal about it. Maybe public shaming will work in getting people to learn. Tongue
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#9
(March 22nd, 2020 at 5:13 PM)Guardian Wrote:
(March 22nd, 2020 at 2:36 AM)Darth-Apple Wrote: I'm so glad that internet explorer is becoming a thing of the past.

I've finally stopped designing with IE in mind. I literally don't even test anything on it anymore. If anyone is using it, they are probably well accustomed to websites having bugs.

100%. I still have to tell people at work to not use it. Then we get those that say this internal site or application ONLY works with IE.

I go on to make a big deal about it being an unsupported browser and the team that works on said site or application needs to get with the times and at minimum make is able to work with Edge or FireFox. I know they won't, but I still make a big deal about it. Maybe public shaming will work in getting people to learn. Tongue

Wait until Microsoft officially deprecates IE with the new Edge and stops shipping it. Then you'll have a legitimate reason to quit supporting it because 'no one in their right mind would use an outdated version of Windows when it's so easy to get hacked, right upper-management?'


I've been using Edge recently and it's extremely /comfy/ and based. Hardware acceleration just Werks™, browserbench (Speedometer) gets higher scores than other browsers on my computer and all my usual Chrome extensions still work without issue (uBlock Origin, HTTPSEverywhere, PrivacyBadger, Disconnect, Ghostery, and other cool things not related to security.)

I don't save passwords because I don't trust Micro$oft but on the other hand, I don't trust Google either (always used a de-googled build of Chrome like Iridium but it's always outdated by like five versions or more), Mozilla is a botnet trying to hide behind the EFF (peek those telemetry options) and Brave Browser is a BAT botnet trying to get you to pay to have ads blocked (or to have ads targeted towards you.) Edge at that point does seems like the lesser of all evils, especially when it uses the latest Chromium engine and is fast af.
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