Mobile Sites – Dave’s iPAQ

I thought that I would start to comment on some of the mobile sites that I visit, maybe share with you my likes and dislikes (which are few) and hopefully generate some discussion on all those sites out there in cyberspace that are dedicated to the Pocket PC “mobile site” enthusiast.

There are some terrific folks out there that have spent a tremendous amount of time and resources to bring to us the “mobile site”. With the introduction of the Pocket PC and it’s eventual ability to “surf” the net, it was difficult to see a favorite site, find and read news or stories with out using the scroll bar or navigation button to read. It took what seemed forever to download pictures to view and in general, it was not the greatest experience.

We did , however, persevere and slowly started to see sites appear that were specifically designed for the Pocket PC. Dave’s iPAQ mobile was one of those sites that removed the graphics, and formatted the text to fit the screen of the iPAQ. It was a site that I visited often because it was easily readable and gave me the information that I wanted.

However, perfection had not been achieved. The ability to get to the forums, archives, store, and other places to visit on the site was really non-existent from the mobile link. To get to the forums, you needed another favorite link to click on, as well as the other areas of the site. Dave did set up the forums to be visible on the iPAQ screen and it was good but it was just not the perfect situation…but that was about to change!

With the new redesign, Dave had set many priorities, one major piece was to have a mobile site that was FAST, formatted perfectly, downloaded all the pictures for easy viewing, and had navigation controls that from a viewer’s first experience, they would feel comfortable and very satisfied. This was accomplished with a great deal of thought and hours of design.

Whether you are at your desktop or iPAQ, you just have to enter the one URL: It will automatically take you to the new site and will format it to your screen….PERFECTLY. I was incredibly surprised at the speed that it appeared on my iPAQ! My first “look” was a new logo with a little SEARCH option to the right that had a “drop down” menu. As I moved my stylus to the drop down menu, my eyes were scanning the visible page. I was “logged in”, I had no private messages, there was an area to SEARCH the STORE or the SITE and I was looking at a new review Dave did on playing the latest DVD’s on your iPAQ. I was impressed!

I touched the “drop down” next to the logo and was amazed as to where I could go. HOME…SHOP…FORUMS…REVIEWS…NEWS…SUBMIT NEWS…ADVERTISE…ABOUT US…CONTACT. It was the nine items cascading across the front page on the site. All easily accessible and all just waiting for me to try them out!

I knew that the search engine was disabled for finding items of interest on the site because of the database upgrade but I still had to try it. Of course it wasn’t able to find what I looked for but when I tried a search in the store for monopoly, it appeared in 4 seconds. The formatting in the store is not as good as the rest of the site but Dave has indicated that there will be continuous improvements and changes to make the experience for the visitor great!

OK, so back to the front page and I decided to start to scroll to the bottom. As I scrolled past the most recent review, the LATEST MOBILE NEWS came up. It not only had when the story was posted, the title, and a brief blurb but it also indicated if there were any comments by readers…very cool! I clicked on a story that I did and was surprised at how fast it came up. I went back to try another…2 seconds…it gave me the title, who posted it, reader comments and the number of views.

When I scrolled to the bottom, there was an option to click on that would take me to more news stories in the archive. Clicking on it brought me to page that allowed me to view news by DATE or by SECTION. A great feature depending on how you want to find and read news items. I tried both and really liked the option to view by category.

OK…so it is back to the front page. Let’s see, I will have to hit the back button 4 times because I have gone through 4 links…WAIT, no I don’t! At the top of the page is the drop down that I can use to take me where I want! So it is off to the forums!

A quick tap on the FORUM HOME and I was there: 46 active users, 7 members and 39 guests, a quick Dave’s iPAQ Statistic and all the forums. There is a neat feature with a green light telling us that there is a NEW post in that forum. As you enter the forum, there is a CHECK next to recent posts…a good feature! I was able to easily read the posts and reply to the ones I needed to. Again, I am really impressed with the speed of the new servers…..

Each area of the site that I went to had a great feel. I thought the feature for users to submit NEWS STORIES was wonderful. The ADVANCED SEARCH feature is the default on the mobile site. It does not fit on the screen without scroll bars but it would not be useful if it did. This new design has been carefully thought out and is definitely user friendly.

I really have enjoyed my first experience with the new design of the site. The overall experience has been fabulous. With the promise of continued improvements to increase user satisfaction, this site has set a standard for all to follow. Dave…a job WELL DONE!!

RATING…5 out of 5