Besides the latest news from the Mobile Web Initiative that I presented (slides) – it’s always gratifying to go through all the achievements we’ve made over the past few years, and exciting to look ahead to more of those -, the session went through three quite different aspects of the usage of the Web on mobile devices:
- Stéphane Boyera presented the ongoing work in W3C to use mobile phones as a platform for social development in developing countries, in particular in rural areas, through the use of Web technologies (slides); W3C is organizing a workshop in Brazil early June on this topic, and setting up an Interest Group to look at the various challenges to overcome to make this a reality;
- Dave Raggett managed to present a very thorough overview of the geo-location based technologies available on mobile devices (slides), despite the fact that I had to reduce this timeslot due to my optimism in the scheduling of the session… Everybody wants location-based services on the Web, and getting a clear picture of the options and difficulties ahead was certainly very useful (to me, at the very least!)
- Henny Swan (from UK RNIB) presented the similarities and differences between the challenges posed by accessing a Web site from a mobile device and those for disabled people (slides), with a short introduction of the ongoing work in W3C to relate the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the Mobile Web Best Practices; I particularly liked the demo (you unfortunately won’t get by just looking at the slides) comparing the audio output of a screen reader with the visual output on a small screen;
We concluded (a bit behind the planned schedule, due again to my bad planning) the session with a couple of lighning talks from MWI Sponsors, one from Charles McCathie-Neville of Opera on the ongoing and upcoming work on Web APIs, and another from James Pearce of dotMobi on their usage of W3C standards in their tools, and in particular of the recently released Device Descriptions Repository API in an upcoming release of their DeviceAtlas repository.
I personnally enjoyed the session, and hope at least part of the audience did as well!