Did you know that today’s modern cell phones and tablets are more powerful than the computer used to land Apollo 11 on the moon? Yet despite that, surfing the web still seems to have problems. Let’s look at some of the problems that you will run into.
There are two main categories of problems. First is the communication, second is the device/interface. Sometimes the first set of problems can cause it to seem to be a problem with your website, but this is not always the case.
The first set is the communication problems. These are the problems that arise from the network connection between the mobile device and the Internet.
Loss of Connectivity
“Can you hear me now?” Well just because you can talk on the phone, doesn’t mean that you can use the web. Usually phone companies have better voice coverage than data coverage. People going into buildings, tunnels, or in remote areas can all cause a problem for connecting.
Luckily, usually, the end-user knows that it is their phone/provider’s fault and not yours. However, this is one advantage to mobile apps, in that it is downloaded to the user, not requiring constant connection. However, apps make it harder to update content, and for large sites it may be too cumbersome to download.
Unfortunately, you can also have intermittent connectivity. This is where your connection comes and goes. So it seems like you are connected, then you are not. As a host, there is nothing you can do about this unfortunately.
Not all 4G (or 3G for that matter) is equal. 3/4G for one carrier can vary by quite a bit. Not only that, but users can experience slower speeds during peak times, or if they move to an area that hasn’t been updated to the latest technology.
Increasing this frustration, if you used larger images to take advantage of the retina (or other high pixel density) displays, you are increasing the download time because you are using larger images.
This is how long it takes to request a file and start to get it. To save on bandwidth, and because you are potentially constantly on the move, your mobile device doesn’t have an always on ability like your connection at work, or cable Internet provider. Instead, it has to create a connection to the Internet, and then resolve the information requested. While this only takes a second or two, it makes loading your website seem slower – despite the fact that most of the time, your website hasn’t even been connected to.
Users are often concerned about the amount of bandwidth they have on their account. They are not going to want to see lots of high-end graphics (like those that make the high density displays appear nicer), videos, etc.
The set of issues involving handset limitations will be reviewed next.
Working with the Limitations of the Mobile Web – Network and Connectivity was originally found on Access 2 Learn