We’ve had a few goes with various technology partners at pumping out a mobile version of The Register over the years. But for reasons too dull to dwell on, each attempt foundered on the shores of irrelevance and indifference. Undaunted, we are back, this time with our own try-out at Register Mobile. [We won’t call it the Mobile …
"And yes, we are prepping an iPhone app version of The Reg. But apart from the obvious eye candy, we're hard pressed to think of anything unique that we can bring to the party - that is, anything that we would not also add to our "vanilla" mobile version. All suggestions welcome."
Commentard filtering for those who don't want to see their beloved iPaidtoomuch mocked on its own screen...?
Bloody marvellous! I got a text message from my network provider yesterday informing me of free 'net access on my mobile for the month of November. It had never even occurred to me to use the service before. Anyhoo, first thing I did with this new found financial freedom was to try and read 'TheReg" and it was an awful experience. This couldn't have happened at a better time!
That loads so much quicker on my G1 than the normal version. Now I can slack at work much quicker :)
Cheers you guys, you don't half spoil us....
Obviously you should have a choir of angels singing in the background.
I noticed the mobile site had been updated last week, and it's definetly an improvement, but why do we have to go back to the full site to see comments? It would be very easy to implement a mobile page for viewing comments at least.
This is excellent news.
All you have to do now is make the reader comments section mobile-friendly too :o)
Nice...but what about......
I use your RSS feeds on my Android device - it works well.
In the feed, the links to the full articles point to the full Reg site. What about mobile versions of the feeds that point to the spanking new mobile site? Or a separate link in the feed to take you to the mobile version of the full article?
Non-m Mobile Users
I use the normal site on an Android G1 quite often, and have experienced no problems of note (loading is a bit slow on GPRS, but big suprise there!).
I'd probably continue to use the full fat version rather than a warmed over WAP site.
Damn annoying when you want El Reg Gordo but you keep getting microReg forced down your throat (take note Times and Indy)
Using a G1 on TMobile, The Reg runs fine for me on normal standards and you can'r see comments without connecting to the full fat version?
Stick on comments and I'll switch to the mobile version, otherwise I'll stick to el norm
Excellent.. and nice to have a separate URL rather than messing about with stylesheets and device detection which often goes horribly wrong.
I also have a site with "mobile" in the name. I do get some very strange emails from Alabama sometimes too..
Suggestion for iphone version
"And yes, we are prepping an iPhone app version of The Reg. But apart from the obvious eye candy, we’re hard pressed to think of anything unique that we can bring to the party"
1. Multi-touch porn
2. Multi-touch porn
3. Multi-touch porn
PLEASE if you do this give us the opportunity to choose whether to go to the mobile site or not, and an easy way back if we change our minds.
Nothing annoys me more than being forced to a crappy "mobile" version of a site automatically and having to go through a hundred hoops (if I can) to get back to the proper version.
Forcing me to use your mobile version would be just about the only thing that would stop me reading El Reg.
Please don't redirect mobiles, just add a link at the top!
I hate using mobile sites on my phone, I'd much rather use the full fat version. The BBC is awful at this - once it detects you're using a phone it's almost impossible to get back and STAY back on the real site.
Plus, I use the register for benchmarking the browser I work on so please don't force it over to the mobile site.
I noticed that the Hardware reviews missed out the rating panel, recently moved to the front of the review, which also tells you the price (meaning that I read a review of an £1800 telly that I'd normally have skipped!).
It's also the case that changing the orientation of my iPhone 3GS led to minor alignment problems.
"we will deploy browser sniffing to serve up the mobile version to cell phones"
Please don't do that.
You're users are intelligent, they can chose themselves.
I get really pissed of when I get some stupid little cut down version of a website on my 800x? phone. I'm looking at you, Google!
How about making the iPhone version cache web pages so we can read The Reg on the tube?
Why do iPhonists...
...keep asking for cut down iPhone versions of sites when they have good access to full sites via the gesture version of Safari?
(Same goes for any other device using Opera Mini.)
Re: Browser sniffing
Relax guys: We won't force Reg Mobile down your phone throats. We envisage something much more limited - a link to the mobile version when it looks like you're on a mobile.
All our mobile pages have a link back to the full-fat version - so unlike the other sites that some of you mention, there is no difficulty on this score.
We haven't gone beyond the "wouldn't it be nice to have mobile version for reading comments". This is something we will address in the New Year.
However, an acceptable UI for posting comments on the mobile version sounds a lot harder - we are inclined to keep things as they are. But by all means, point us to mobile rev /comments posting UIs that work for you.
Couple of small changes I might make though. One is to have the date and time of each story and to have them in strictly date order so you know which is the most recent. Another, if there's room, is to include the category so you know if you're about to read the latest about El Reg's mascot or a very dry story about a hardware company's financial results.
Re: Nice...but what about......
Aaron, our technical overlord, has pencilled this in for "late November".
Excellent site - well laid out as well. Normal site is fairly heavy on the data usage when viewed on mobile
Re: Minor probs
We will fix this in our next pass at the mobile version in late November.
No ads, but also no 'older news' :-(
...is a bad idea ;)
your new mobile site is excellent however and I like it, will probably use it from now on on my HTC magic, although i've had no problems with the full fat version on my phone i prefer the mobile site as it stops me zooming all over the place...
once again...don't do the browser sniffing...it annoys the crap out of me...(how difficult is it to put an m. in the address bar anyways)
good work :)
"You're users are intelligent"
I want my comments pages back!
Otherwise, very good.
Can we get rid of the grey bits down the side?
There's nothing in the "add your own comment" section that's really at all difficult to implement on even crappy phone browsers; just make a nice simple form, with nice simple radio buttons, and a nice simple https submission landing page, and it should be all fine. Phone users don't expect much... (Oh, and the link to comments, being much smaller than the chunk of related stories below the article main, could probably happily go right between the article and the related links. Your devoted fans already read most of the related articles and are more likely to be interested in the comments, so why make 'em scroll further than they have to?)
Looks nice on Blackberry 83xx browsers as well as the Bold. Well done.
Big thumbs up.
Add me to the requests for the comments pages! Not neccessarily to add comments but to read them.
Although Gordo Reg (love it!) does work well on the new Opera Mobile 10.
Oh Thank God
It's about bloody time.
Another vote for comments
I too would like to be able to read comments on the mobile site.
from me too.
iPhone App Features
Few different things that might be nice and/or useful:
1. Have the first page loaded be selectable- let the user choose if they want the main page, or one of the sub-sections, to be the first thing they see.
2. Have a link to the BOfH archives, or even a dedicated section. Also, being able to cycle to the next (and previous) article without going back to the main page for each archive would be quite nice, especially on a limited-bandwidth connection.
3. A "Comment randomly" button.
easy on the eyes, relatively easy on the bandwidth.
I think it needs a navigation link to a gallery of playmobil scenes
Don't you sniff my browser, you perv.
But don't bother checking for mobiles on the server - give us the choice. Getting information out of the Beeb has become jolly difficult since they ram their coloured WAPness down the throat of my throbbing 800x480 mobile.
@ El Reg.
That is all.
yup, works for me...
Nokia 5800, no probs, nice and quick. Well, quick anyway...
...have no problems reading el Reg on my bb 9000 as-is. It's quite convenient, really - I'd prefer the full version over the mobile version. Comments work fine too; the only glitch is that the icon selection can be a bit flaky sometimes - but even that's usually not bad, and seems to have been gradually improving(?).
It wasn't nearly as nice a story on the 8700, though.
Two suggestions for mobile site...
Thanks for making moves to improve the Reg mobile experience. Two suggestions to improve the mobile site though:
Firstly, please add separate RSS feeds for all the mobile versions of the sites. I use an Android RSS app on my G1 called Newsrob (which syncs to Google Reader) that can display the pages within the app. I'd love to be able to get to the mobile content via this method.
Secondly, on the mobile pages please also add a link on each story to a mobile version of the comments. After getting the mobile page loading quickly, it's rather tedious then having to navigate through the main version of the site to get to the comments. Totally defeats the object of going to the mobile version in the first place!
Thanks, and keep up the good work!
I was really hoping to see the Network Liberation propergander one :D
That one made me feel like The Reg was an out of work actor desperate for the cash.
Another vote for mobile comments
As the 'free wisdom' offered in comments often contains as much insight as the original article, they're an integral part of the 'El Reg' experience, and as such really need to be supported in the 'slim' version.
It doesn't need to be anything sophisticated, just a simple https form to add a comment, and the comments themselves linked from the bottom of the article as in the 'full-fat' version... they need no additional formatting whatever.
I really welcome the idea of the low bandwidth version - not all of us are physically able to use the latest and greatest (?) touchscreen marvels when we're out and about, so it's an important step forwards in accessibility terms too.
iPhone app suggestion
How about using push notifications to be alerted to articles that mention pre-defined keywords?
I, for one, welcome our El Reg Technical Overlord.....