Brent Boyer: News and information on the go
January 28, 2011
Steamboat Springs — There's a lot to love about smart phones. Mine has helped organize my work and personal lives with a calendar and contacts list that automatically syncs with my laptop. I have apps that give turn-by-turn driving directions, provide streaming music from my favorite artists and keep track of my personal finances. My phone has a 5-megapixel camera that takes shockingly good photos and video that can be sent by e-mail to family and friends.
I could go on, but I'll spare some of the additional details that many of our readers already know because they, too, have smart phones. A reader survey in fall indicated that one-third of Steamboat Today readers have smart phones. That number is increasing by the week.
Longtime reporter and columnist Tom Ross bought his first smart phone a few months back. I can't help but smile every time Tom tells me about a new feature he picked up on or a useful app that he discovered. So I was somewhat surprised when Tom came to me this week and asked what the "m" was in the website address m.SteamboatToday.com. I told him the "m" indicated it was a mobile site — one designed specifically for mobile devices such as smart phones. He still was confused. He can't be alone. Here goes:
Many websites offer mobile versions geared specifically for fast loading and browsing on mobile devices. Mobile sites, unlike their big-brother traditional websites, are more functional than they are Flash. By taking out processor- and bandwidth-hogging website elements such as Adobe Flash, mobile sites are speedy and focused on a simplified design that provides easy access to the content that drives visitors.
We've had a mobile version of SteamboatToday.com for several years. Last month, we redesigned the site, and I think it's much improved. Optimized for viewing on smart phones with larger screens, m.SteamboatToday.com is clean, easy to navigate and quick to load.
I'm smart enough to realize the future of mobile websites is likely to be short-lived. Apps designed for mobile devices are not a fad. In fact, Apple recently launched a Mac App Store for its desktop and laptop users, signaling a coming shift to an app-dominated user experience on all of our computer devices.
But until we launch our Steamboat Today app, our mobile site is a fantastic way to quickly access Routt County news, sports and event information when you're away from your computer. Take out your phone and give it a try.
Brent Boyer is the editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He can be reached at 970-871-4221 or bboyer@SteamboatToday.com.