There are a number of factors responsible for a smooth mobile web browsing experience. Mister Mo narrates an experience and points out these factors.
A staff member of ours was at Ikeja in Lagos to carry out some business. Because of a new development on ground, he suddenly needed to check up some facts online.
Unfortunately for him, there was no cyber cafe in the vicinity. Well, he had on him a lower mid-range GPRS-enabled feature phone with a regular phone keypad. Thinking it would be a snap to get the required information on his handset, our man launched the browser and slowly typed out a search engine address. It took another few painful minutes for the phone’s low-end browser and his network’s GPRS connection to load the desired page.
Then he typed out his search keywords and hit the “Search” button. Five minutes later, he was still staring at the same page. Six minutes. Seven minutes. Ten minutes. Nada.
Well, he never did get the information he needed.
This incidence reminded us that there is not one factor responsible for a pleasant mobile web experience.
Network Data Capabilities
There is no doubt that if the phone in question had been 3G or HSDPA enabled, the search would have been smoother. The extra speeds available via 3G services would have made some difference, surely. Over time, newer internet technologies will surpass 3G. 4G. 5G. You will always be better off with the latest and the fastest.
Another factor is browser capability. Had the browser been a more decent application, surely we can expect better performance.
Typing out fairly long strings of text with a regular mobile phone keypad can be painful and frustrating. SMS shorthand won’t help here because your search keywords have to be accurate. A hardware QWERTY keyboard, handwriting recognition or virtual QWERTY keyboard on a touchscreen certainly will help here.
Phone Processing Power
We all know that phones with powerful processors make everything – including loading of webpages – speedier. As such, phones with lower processing power may just lack that extra burst of energy that you may need for those quick searches and forays on the web when you are out and about.
This combination of factors, we believe, are the most vital in getting a good mobile web experience. While we are not expecting that people will need to use these features on their mobiles everyday, perhaps it is not such a bad idea that they think of the odd times that these functionalities may come in essential when thinking of their next mobile phone.
The user interface is another factor that deserves a mention, but that is a discussion for another day.
What you need for a smooth mobile web browsing experience
In summary, if you use the internet as a source of information or for work and require smooth web browsing, think about these key factors:
- Network Data Capabilities
- Browser Capabilities
- Text Input Mechanism
- Phone Processing Power
Did we leave out anything?