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Sprint Openwaves hello to better mobile browsing

Apple iPhone users may be consuming data like it’s going out of fashion, but they’re a tiny minority of mobile users. What about the rest of the world and their bog standard phones – how do you get them accessing the mobile Web? US operator Spring thinks it has the answer, with Openwave’s OpenWeb product.

According to the carrier, Sprint customers will be able to “get faster, more user-friendly renderings of internet sites, even those not optimized for the mobile device” regardless of the spec of their phone. Even better – taking advantage of the system won’t necessitate any action on the user’s behalf. Phew.

It’s good to see more operators looking at the non-iPhone owning public as a source of mobile data consumption and trying to make their web experience a bit better. Of course, the other way to do that would be better interfaces and better designed devices, but smarter browsing is a start.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve been using OpenWeb for a week now and can report that it’s just a transcoder like Skweezer or Mowser and not a particularly good one at that. It strips formatting, breaks images and fails completely on many pages. Users are stuck with it as there is no way to opt out of its use or even turn it off on a page by page basis.

    The worst part of OpenWeb is that it does not distinguish between full web sites and made for mobile ones destroying the appearance and usability of well made mobile sites.

    OpenWeb also threatens the business model of off-portal sites selling content like ringtones, games, applications and themes because it replaces the browser’s User Agent header with the User Agent of a generic desktop browser so it’s impossible to identify the user’s handset to deliver the proper content.

    More on my Blog: http://wapreview.com/blog/?p=514

    Dennis’s last blog post..Sprint OpenWeb Update

  2. Raddedas at techtype isn’t impressed by Openweb:
    “I was a couple of sentences in before I realised this was the same transcoder that was thoroughly mangling every page it saw, from the tightest hand coded valid mobile XHTML-MP through to standard web pages, reducing them to a nasty common denominator of black and white ugliness, with markup errors added in for free.
    […]
    “Did customers ask for this? Did they get a choice whether to have it? Does this really make their lives easier? Bollocks it does. This shows exactly how open the new open intiatives from the US operators are – opening the door just enough to kick everyone but themselves and their paying content providers out into the cold.”

    HeavyLight’s last blog post..Whatleydude’s N95 saga: VF comes out shining!

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