It’s no secret that the web is becoming more mobile by the minute. In fact, studies project that in only a year or two, mobile web use -- that’s browsing on your smartphone or your tablet -- is poised to overtake the entirety of desktop computer use. Data like that would seem to make one thing abundantly clear. Whether you’re a blogger, a browser or a business owner, the mobile frontier is your new destination.
But research from KissMetrics, a web analysis group, reveals that 60% of all mobile web users run into at least one problem while trying to visit a site via a tablet or smartphone. In an industry where first impressions are everything, a bad introduction to a poorly optimized mobile site can be quite a bad omen.
The fact that some sites still not optimized for mobile viewing can typically be blamed on poor web development or negligent maintenance of a site’s operations and navigation. It’s clear that the more time you spend ensuring your user can find his or her way around your site (especially on an iPad or Android tablet), the better off you’ll be, whether you are a business, a blogger or a casual browser.
Sites that pull in lots of traffic have stayed a step ahead, launching different versions of their webpages to accommodate mobile and tablet users. That includes plenty of brand new coding in order to satisfy users on all these new devices. While it’s one thing to code for mobile devices, actually coding from them is something else entirely.
Welcome to the web development world of tomorrow
Truth be told, that tomorrow has already begun to take shape today. The most gadget-savvy programmers are already coding from their tablets. It makes sense, too, when you consider how portable a tablet is compared to a full-blown desktop unit. But in addition to being better for on-the-go use, some tablets even allow you easier accessibility when you’re doing the actual coding.
Here’s an example: Kodiak, an app designed specifically for tablet-based coding, features a unique “Navigation Key” that allows users to select text simply by sliding their fingers along the screen. And for Droid tablets, there’s DroidEdit which boasts easy syntax highlighting and infinite undo and redo options as part of its functionality.
Another effective option for on-the-go coding is Textastic, an app that’s available for download on the iPad that also recently became available for iPhones. That’s right -- coding on your phone just became a real thing. Of course, this kind of process is mostly just good for straightforward text editing, and it seems highly unlikely that you could code an entire site from a four-inch screen. But when you need a quick edit for a problem that creeps up on you, having Textastic in your pocket might just be the perfect solution.
This kind of innovation and accessibility must be pricey, right? In fact, it’s quite the contrary. DroidEdit is free, and Kodiak runs about $10 in the App Store. Diet Coda, another app that features a code editor as well as a full-text editor available on tablets, can be purchased for under $20. That’s part of what makes tablet-based coding so appealing.
Like anything else, it might take some time to get used to. If the data is any indication, however, most major sites are going to be coding from their tablets sometime in the near future. The sooner you become familiar with how it works, the sooner you’ll have a solid handle on portable coding. As most gave gathered from looking at thousands of comments sections across the web, being first is what it’s all about.