The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

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Tdarcos
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The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by Tdarcos » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:32 am

There seems to be a conspiracy - although this may not be the right word - by businesses to force people to install and use a mobile app version of whatever service they run on their website. Ler's take a look at the situation. After spending considerable time and effort creating a website to allow you to use their services, the particuat business then created a mobile version to supposedly work with devices with limited screen real estate, e.g. you can't do a 19" . 1280x1024 screen experience on a 7" mobile phone.

Okay, that's reasonable, since it's an attempt to be proactive and respond to customer needs. But let's not bastardize the website by downgrading the capacity of the website in mobile version over the full desktop. Or if you feel downgrading is necessary, at least give me the option to switch back if I so choose. But invariably, forced reduced-functionality is exactly what has happened with mobile websites. And even more so with mobile apps, as I explain later.

Over and over again, the "full" desktop website is the "gold standard" of access, and everything is available from it. Go to the mobile version, and it's a cur-down, reduced functionality,, crippled weakling compared to the desktop. Nor will they, in almost all cases, give me any means to switch to the full desktop version. No, I am forced to take a lesser capacity, worse alternative because they have decided if I'm on a mobile device I need to be treated like a child who can't be allowed to eat grown-up food, I must be forced to take what they deign to give me.

I happen to use a 10" tablet, I have the capacity to do many things close to a normal desktop including scroll the screen or change from landscape to poitrait. Let's take a look at the world's largest retailer, Amazon.com, whether you connect by tablet or desktop it's the same site and isn't "cut-down" or degraded. They do have an app but for the reasons I explain below I'm not going to try it.

But the reduced functionality in mobile websites is nothing compared to the true "bastard children of the Internet," mobile apps. I thought that mobile websites are bad until I saw the abysmal state of what Mobile apps have come to. Typically Mobile apps are even worse than mobile websites. If you think mobile websites are cut down, you haven't seen loss of functionality until you've seen how crippled the mobile app is by comparison.

Let's take your typical bank or credit union, for example. Their desktop website will let you do everything: view checking and savings transactions, get PDFs of prior statements, order checks, stop payments, view credit card statements, dispute charges, transfer funds, view brokerage statements as well as buy and sell stocks and other brokerage services (when your bank has a tie-in with a stockbroker, and all the major banks do), and everything else you'd ask your bank to do.

Then you are on the mobile version. Viewing transactions are more limited. The search capability is less. Credit cards and brokerage accounts require you switch to different screens (if even available), and so on.

But now the app versions. Yes, I said versions. The checking account system is one app. There's another app for credit cards. And a differrent one for brokerage services. Another thing is the "pinch" function on a browser. For those of you unfamiliar with a mobile device, it means you touch one finger to the screen, then touch another finger to the screen and move it away to make the text and images larger or move them closer to reduce screen size. No app except a mobile browser supports pinch. In addition to each of these apps being less functional than even the mobile website version, you lose "single sign on" feature that's available when using the browser version. You only have to provide username and password once on the web browser for all the services on that website (and if you're like me, on my private computer I can have Firefox store username and password for easy access). The app often will save the username but you still have to enter your password separately in each app. Which is another problem if I want to switch accounts. If I have my corporate account and personal accounts at the same bank, I can just log out, and if I've used that website before, with the desktop version, using the mouse to tap the username field will allow me to pick from multiple logins (and even fill in the password for that username.) All this convenience - as well as functionality- is lost when on mobile apps.

Want to see an example of "mobile degradation"? On a phone or tablet go to mobile English Wikipedia, https://en.m.wikipedia.org and find an article using the spyglass on the upper right. On the right side of each section of any editable article, an icon of a pencil is there to allow you to edit it. But the editing feature does not work right on mobile Wikipedia; it stops rendering the source after half a paragraph and does not produce the review and save buttons. But at least, you can change this. Hit the back button, at the very bottom of the mobile version of the article is a link to "desktop" which then forces your browser to use the full desktop version even though you're on a mobile device. So while Wikipedia has mobile problems too, at least they give you the choice to switch back. (Oh, and when it's showing the desktop version there's a like to switch back to mobile. There is, surprisingly enough, one advantage with the Wikipedia mobile version: the search function is better.)
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Re: The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by pinback » Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:36 am

Tdarcos wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:32 am
]the "full" desktop website is the "gold standard" of access
I understand this applies to web-based pages and applications, but how can we determine the "gold standard" for programs and applications NOT hosted on the web?
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Re: The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by Casual Observer » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:35 am

I agree with Paul 100%. Mobile websites and apps are the worst things on the internet.

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Re: The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:43 am

I think I tell this story all the time. I'm gonna tell it again because why not.

For the first Christmas I had with my wife, before she was my wife, I got her an iPad and I want to say that within two years, so by Christmas of 2012, it was no longer able to run new stuff from the app store. A year later it couldn't hold much of a charge and the old shit wouldn't work that well. And by that I mean - it could have been useful forever as a Kindle reader, but it stopped working. It was just this $700 hunk of shit hanging around.

I think we still have it. I am sure there's a jailbreak community around it .. yeah, I guess there is -

But you can get stung like that once in your life and swear off a company forever, which I have done, at least for their iPad stuff.
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Re: The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by Flack » Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:46 am

Tdarcos wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:32 am
For those of you unfamiliar with a mobile device
Quick heat check here -- can we start a poll to identify which members of Jolt Country are unfamiliar with mobile devices in 2019?
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Re: The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by AArdvark » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:41 pm

Mobile device? Does Commander mean, like, a skateboard?

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Re: The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by Tdarcos » Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:40 am

AArdvark wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:41 pm
Mobile device? Does Commander mean, like, a skateboard?
That was funny, and a nice try, but even Wiktionary has a definition: "An item of hand-held electronic equipment, especially a smartphone or tablet computer."
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Re: The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by Tdarcos » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:02 am

pinback wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:36 am
Tdarcos wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:32 am
]the "full" desktop website is the "gold standard" of access
I understand this applies to web-based pages and applications, but how can we determine the "gold standard" for programs and applications NOT hosted on the web?
"What's the difference between ignorance and apathy? Don't know and don't care." If it doesn't have a desktop web version it's either a desktop application or it's of no significance. I can't think of any serious data-based application - something that supports transactions and persistent data - that is not available for desktops, either as a Mainframe Application, a Desktop Application, or as a Web Application. Web Applications have a bigger potential range of customers than anything running standalone. Hell, even the CICS mainframe transaction processing system supports a web interface.
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Re: The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by Tdarcos » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:28 pm

Flack wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:46 am
Tdarcos wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:32 am
For those of you unfamiliar with a mobile device
Quick heat check here -- can we start a poll to identify which members of Jolt Country are unfamiliar with mobile devices in 2019?
The article was simultaneously written to be posted here and submitted to Risks Digest. I suspect some of its readers may not have used a mobile device and thus the explanation was for them.
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Angry Stewart Payne

Re: The corrupted and worse mobile and app versions of desktop websites: "mobile degradation"

Post by Angry Stewart Payne » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:21 pm

Tdarcos wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:02 am
pinback wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 6:36 am
Tdarcos wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:32 am
]the "full" desktop website is the "gold standard" of access
I understand this applies to web-based pages and applications, but how can we determine the "gold standard" for programs and applications NOT hosted on the web?
"What's the difference between ignorance and apathy? Don't know and don't care." If it doesn't have a desktop web version it's either a desktop application or it's of no significance. I can't think of any serious data-based application - something that supports transactions and persistent data - that is not available for desktops, either as a Mainframe Application, a Desktop Application, or as a Web Application. Web Applications have a bigger potential range of customers than anything running standalone. Hell, even the CICS mainframe transaction processing system supports a web interface.
Were there gold standards for other systems like the PC?

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