Category Archives: Mobile

Top 30 Mobile Websites

Update: For the most current data (all of 2008), please see Top Mobile Websites for 2008.

Last September, I reported on the top 20 mobile
websites
that readers of my mobile website list
(Cantoni.mobi)
were clicking on. Since six months
have gone by, I thought it was a perfect time for an update.

Today I present the “top 30” mobile websites as recorded on
Cantoni.mobi. These results are captured by my MyBlogLog
community widget which reports on not just page views, but
links clicked exiting the site.

The same caveat applies: any mobile browser with Javascript
either disabled or not present is not tracked. Regardless,
the overall trend should still be accurate.

Over the last 6 months, we recorded a total of about 180,000
links that were followed (an average of about 1,000 per
day). Here are the top 30 mobile websites, in order:

  1. YouTube
  2. Maxim
  3. CNN Mobile
  4. Google Maps
  5. American Express
  6. Wapedia (encyclopedia)
  7. PDA Animated Weather
  8. GameGeek
  9. Flickr Mobile
  10. Fandango
  11. Mobile Stream Center
  12. The Onion
  13. MySpace
  14. Mobile MapQuest
  15. AccuWeather
  16. Mobile speed test
  17. Mobile DrinkBoy
  18. Car and Driver
  19. TV Guide
  20. Google
  21. Traffic
  22. Gas Buddy
  23. MTV
  24. SKY.fm Wireless Edition
  25. Gameloft
  26. Film-TV.com
  27. Facebook
  28. ESPN
  29. Fatwallet
  30. FOX News

Installing Treo Palm OS Simulator for Web Testing

This is the second installment of my quest to install simulators on my Windows XP system for all the major smartphone platforms. Yesterday we covered the BlackBerry simulator; today we’ll tackle the Palm OS version of the Treo.

The first step will be to the Palm developer center. If you don’t already have a free developer account, register for one now. (It’s necessary to download any of the simulators.)

Since we’re covering devices based on Palm OS, I’ll pick the latest which is the Centro smartphone. Palm offers a simulator for each device, so follow these steps to get the one for the Centro:

  1. Start at the Centro Developer Center
  2. Under Quick Links, click on Simulators
  3. In the KB article shown, click on Centro_Sprint_Simulator_Release.zip and download it (18MB)
  4. Extract the .zip file into some convenient location
  5. In the extracted files, navigate to PalmSDK\Simulators\Centro_Sprint_Simulator_Release_Build_X
  6. Double-click on PalmSim.exe to start the Simulator
  7. Choose the .rom file pointed to by default (e.g., Simulator.SprintCdmaRelEnUS.rom)
  8. If a Windows Firewall warning message appears, choose the Unblock option

You now have a working Palm OS simulator!

Some tips and tricks:

  • Read up on the documentation (\Doc folder) to learn about keyboard commands and so on
  • Run the Prefs app on the device, choose Power, and set the Auto-off to 3 minutes
  • To access the internet from the simulator, right-click anywhere, choose menu Setting | Communication, and select Redirect NetLib calls.

 

Palm OS Treo Simulator Screenshot

Installing BlackBerry Simulator for Mobile Web Testing

In order to accurately test mobile websites on a variety of devices, you either need to buy a bunch of phones (if you’re a big developer and can afford it), or go the cheap route and rely on device simulators from the manufacturers. In order to better understand how Cantoni.mobi looks and behaves, I’m going to install all the major simulators I can find and document the steps along the way.

To get rolling with the testing of BlackBerry devices, we’ll start at the BlackBerry Developer Program and find the page for BlackBerry Developer Tools.

There are two different software packages we’ll need. First is the Device Simulator:

Use BlackBerry Device Simulators to demonstrate and test how the BlackBerry® Device Software, screen, keyboard and trackwheel/trackball will work with your application. These simulators will also simulate behavior in various wireless network conditions.

Second is the MDS Services:

The BlackBerry Email and MDS Services Simulator Package can emulate certain aspects of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. When used in conjunction with a BlackBerry Device Simulator, users can simulate browsing web content, sending and receiving email or application data traffic.

The MDS Services software is needed to simulate a network connection, which we’ll need for testing mobile browsing. Without it, your simulated BlackBerry has no network access.

Next we’ll proceed to downloading the latest Device Simulator. Each phone/carrier combination you want to test is a separate download. In my case I’m testing with the 8830 on Sprint and the 8300 without a carrier. Download these .exe files and run them, installing into the default folders.

Next we’ll need to download the Email and MDS Services Simulator package. This download required me to create a free registration with the BlackBerry developer program. (While installing this package, it warned me that I needed a newer Java development kit installed, but I deselected that prerequisite and continued on without it. If you do run into problems, you might in fact need a recent JDK.)

After the packages are installed, we can fire up the simulator:

  1. Bring up an Explorer window and navigate to the “Research in Motion” folder under Program Files
  2. Go into the “Email and MDS Services” folder, then the “MDS” folder, then double-click on run.bat
  3. Go back up and into the “Device Simulators” folder, then a device folder (like “8830-Sprint”), then double-click on the device batch file (like “8830-Sprint.bat”)

Wait a minute for the simulator to start running, then start using your new phone!

Some tips and tricks:

  • Bring up the simulator help content (F1) to get familiar with the UI and keyboard controls
  • Keep the LCD on (menu View | Keep LCD On)
  • Save or copy the screen as an image (Edit menu)
  • Zoom in (View | Zoom) or go full-screen (F11) for presentations

That last tip made me realize this simulator would be great for any sort of demo, hack, or presentation. Instead of fumbling with an ELMO, you can run your demo from this simulator on your laptop.

 

8830

Mobile Website Project: New Domain

My 4-year old project to keep an updated list of useful mobile websites continues to draw a decent amount of traffic (somewhere between 1000 and 2000 page views per day). I’ve also managed to reach the top search result for “mobile websites” on both Google and Live.com. (Yahoo and Ask are not keeping up…come on guys!)

This week I’m migrating the list from its current home on “www.cantoni.org/palm” to a new domain “cantoni.mobi”. Tonight I have the new domain up and running and tomorrow I’ll start redirecting the old traffic.

Hopefully I’ll be able to follow the standard advice for such a move, including using “301” permanent redirects, so that search engines can find the page at its new home. I should be able to tell over the next couple of weeks if the move is a success.

In the meantime, check out the new page on your iPhone, Blackberry, Treo, or smartphone:

http://cantoni.mobi