In addition to the Web Browser for Series 40, the Series 40 platform supports a ‘lite’ browser application, which will continue to be delivered in Series 40 device models in parallel with those device models using the Web Browser for Series 40. The lite browser will be used predominantly by entry-level phones, and it's already on hundreds of millions of Series 40 devices in use today. This application provides mobile consumers with the ability to browse WML and XHTML-MP content.
To maximise your website’s reach, optimisation for WML and XHTML-MP could be rewarding. In addition, the use of a *.mobi domain will help users locate your mobile-optimised website.
Overview of Lite Browsing
By the end of 2007, an estimated 1.5 billion mobile devices supported XHTML browsing, with a large proportion of this installed base being Nokia Series 40 devices. A new *.mobi top-level domain name from dotMobi provides an easy way to indicate to users that a site has been optimised for mobile devices. The W3C Mobile Web Initiative has released Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 guide, and mobiForge provides a number of tools to help in developing and testing mobile sites. The new tools make development of mobile content cost-effective for individuals and small businesses, greatly increasing the mobile content-provider base. With faster and cheaper data transmission, consumers no longer have a reason to avoid browsing the internet with their mobile phones.
Why optimise your site for lite browsing?
The main reason is to guarantee that the site works with most mobile phones, thus allowing you to realise the potential of the mass market. The user should have a good experience on a small screen, receive relevant information, and enjoy reasonable download costs and time. Traditional web ads often aren't visible and are unsuitable for lite browsing, whereas ads adapted for mobile phones provide a much better return (for example, using Nokia Interactive Advertising). However, mobile users shouldn't be restricted to the mobile site. If possible, you should provide a link to the full website. Many mobile users will want to access it at least occasionally.
Why develop for the Nokia Series 40 Lite Browser?
Developers should pay special attention to providing a compelling experience on the Series 40 Lite Browser, which is the most popular browser worldwide. The Series 40 Lite Browser provides more advanced features than the ‘Default Delivery Context’ specified by the W3C Mobile Web Initiative. Developers should consider implementing device recognition to take full advantage of the capabilities of Series 40 phones. Using device recognition allows the site to offer more than the common capabilities to consumers with more advanced phones.
Why use the *.mobi extension?
While it's a good idea to build a mobile-optimised site, it's even better to let users know about it. Using a name like domain.mobi is the simplest way to do this. However, it also requires that the site follows the dotMobi Mobile Web Developer's Guide based on W3C work. The guide contains three mandatory rules: use no frames, serve unknown browsers an XHTML MP page, and do not use ‘www’ in the name.