01-05-2013, 11:23 PM #1
- 27 Posts
That company is Facebook.
Facebook doesn't have a very good history with Windows Phone, refusing the commit an official app for the platform till today, forcing Microsoft to come up with its own (arguably not very good) version of the Facebook app.
Throughout the life of WP, users were forced to endure the WAP version of Facebook Mobile, as the touch-optimized site is buggy most of the time.
However, I noticed significant improvements since the release of WP8 (which the improvements can even be felt on WP7 devices). They cleaned up a lot of the quirks and made touch.facebook.com more usable to WP users. In fact, touch.facebook.com is highly usable for WP users today, with very few things not working.
As of a few hours ago, the (new) bug of not being able to touch on specific friend requests/messages/notifications have been fixed.
Going back, more improvements and fixes were made. One major one is the ability to side-scroll (go to your Timeline and try it out). Previously, all side-scrolls on the web are done through WebKit specific method, now Facebook uses a more universal approach. Some other improvements are: able to see entire pictures finally (switch to landscape to make the picture bigger), layout of like/comment on posts are fixed, sidebar functional and many more.
Obviously, there are many more improvements to be made.(I still can't go to a person's profile by tapping on the tagged link on a photo, for instance.) The same can be said of Microsoft's mobile web browser, which is still lacking compared to the competition. But the point is, Facebook is progressing and improving its services to more users, while Google decides to alienate more users.
The future of mobile web in terms of support for IE still seems uncertain. Many basic mobile webs work just fine, but requiring anything just a little bit more complex such as side-scrolling then support for IE Mobile just seems nonexistent. (For example, m.gsmarena.com uses WebKit specific code for side-scrolling) Go for more complicated web apps such as Google Maps, then you start to see why Google couldn't be bothered to provide any sort of usable experience in the first place, as everything is so entrenched in WebKit.
TL,DR: Even with small number of users, Facebook decides to increase support for WP while Google decides to entirely alienate and scale back support. Go try touch.facebook.com.
- 01-06-2013, 12:26 AM #4
Google Maps always ran fine in IE 9 and IE 10 for Windows Phone. It was only broken in the pre-Mango version of IE for NoDo.
As for Facebook revamping its mobile sites, that's likely due to pressure for consolidation of codebases. The more they can build out HTML5 that works cross-browser, the less they need to focus on the old mobile site or platform-specific versions of the site.
- 01-06-2013, 09:49 AM #6
You know what would subtly improve user experience? Not a ****ing web app, but a proper native first party Facebook app. That and a native Facebook Messenger app with all the features of the iOS version which includes VOIP, voice messages, 'sent' notification and pretty much everything on offer on iOS.
01-06-2013, 04:16 PM #8
- 27 Posts
The point is Facebook is improving its mobile user experience to more users and that is highly beneficial to WP users. This is despite the fact that for the 3 years of WP's existence, Facebook's touch website NEVER worked correctly most of the time. WP users who started using WP and Facebook on constant basis since the beginning will understand the frustration. (It wasn't until a few months ago that the official WP Facebook app has the option to 'like' comments.)
- 01-06-2013, 04:23 PM #9
Amongst all the negative comments, I would like to add - that change is MASSIVE! I'm impressed with how the website now looks. I don't know if anyone has seen how nice it looks throughout compared to what it was before. It essentially kills the need to have an app. Most of it is integrated anyway. For odd bits, I will rather go to this webpage which is now pinned on my start screen. For notifications, I have ME tile.
- 01-06-2013, 04:34 PM #11
- 01-06-2013, 08:48 PM #13
The real issue is that nobody is following the standards perfectly. Webkit is a display engine for browsers, open source. We all know Microsoft doesn't use open source as the backbone of their services and we cannot expect them to. We can expect companies to make their rendering engines standards compliant. If the standards don't specify enough detail to make this possible, than the standards need to be improved. Then, and only then, will web code be cross platform and ubiquitous the way it is supposed to be.
- 01-06-2013, 09:38 PM #14
Google Maps for mobile browsers is platform independent - you will always get a consistent experience and the latest features without needing to install any updates, no matter what phone you use.
- 01-06-2013, 09:43 PM #15
- 01-06-2013, 11:46 PM #18
Does anybody else find it ironic that the "develop for WebKit only, screw the other browsers" people were the ones screaming and whining the loudest about IE's dominance five to ten years ago and demanding rigorous adherence to cross-platform standards?
One Opera user I've known since the late 1990s would be utterly outraged when a web site worked in IE6 (but not Opera)... now he only develops WebKit stuff and says "I don't care about the other browsers, since WebKit is OSS."
- 01-07-2013, 12:19 AM #20
It's the story of the "post-Microsoft-dominance" era.
Microsoft, for all of its failings in the 1990s, was unfailingly cross-platform. Windows NT even had a component called "services for Macintosh" that allowed the OS 7, 8 and 9 Macs of the day to seamlessly operate on a Microsoft network. Office was always updated cross-platform and Microsoft even developed IE for Mac OS -- it was the best Mac browser of the time.
A lot of people didn't like that Microsoft's platforms were winning over the expensive, closed Macs of the era (which cost 5x as much) or the esoteric Sun/IBM Unix stuff. They raged against MS democratizing technology and putting it in the hands of users, and "unfairly" gaining a monopoly by making tech affordable.
They said they wanted "choices." They exhorted people to "think different."
Then, when they became dominant and powerful, they forced everyone to "think exactly the same and only the way we allow you to" and moved to eliminate all choices -- especially when it harmed Microsoft and its users. This hypocrisy was "justified" by Microsoft's success in the 1990s, when the company destroyed the notion that computers should be expensive, proprietary and hard to acquire. "A computer on every desk" was Microsoft's big ideal, and they delivered with the best mix of form, function, price and design.
- 01-07-2013, 12:21 AM #21
(sorry, post got cut off and the "edit" function isn't working in IE 10)
People forget how expensive computing was before Microsoft brought prices down. The $1,500 NT workstations of the late 1990s were easily the equal of machines that cost $10K or more... it made powerful stuff truly accessible.
The challenge with WP and Windows 8 is to return to that ethos. Bring on the $250 unlocked Lumia 620s and the $300 fully-functional Windows 8 tablets!
01-07-2013, 09:06 AM #24
- 248 Posts
I use the Facebook-integration (WP7.5) for posting and updating status updates and pictures. I use the Facebook-App (from microsoft) for checking my recieved messages (you can pin the messages section to your start screen) and touch.facebook for all the other stuff. I really hate having three "apps" for the same Site... Of course I love the FB implementation on my phone and its ok for me to use an App for "more specific functions", but using both the "official" app and touch.facebook is just a pain in the ***... the app is SO slow and does not have the functions touch.facebook does... touch.facebook on the other side is still bugged as ****..
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