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blackberry_askme_demo It has been said by many that 2010 will truly be the year of the mobile app. BlackBerries have given remote access to email for years, and the iPhone has been one of the hottest selling phones since its launch. Many other devices now also come with built-in web browsers, fast internet access and large enough screens that accessing websites on a handheld device is almost as easy as on a desktop computer. Almost, but not quite. Full-size websites can be displayed on smaller devices, but viewing them typically requires a lot of scrolling around and zooming in and out. Websites optimized for mobile devices are still a great way to give the best user experience on handheld devices.

Fortunately, it's quite easy to make your Inmagic database accessible to mobile browsers, using WebPublisher Pro and a bit of elbow grease. We’ve just finished making a version of our Andornot Starter Kit (ASK) mobile-friendly. The ASK Mobile Edition is a set of search and results forms specifically designed for mobile devices. The layout is aimed at devices with a screen resolution of at least 240 pixels width, but doesn't require any more than that. Users may search by clicking pre-created links for popular searches, such as recent acquisitions, popular subjects or the latest journals received, as well as use a search screen to enter terms and select options using radio buttons and tickboxes. In all cases, the interface is designed not only for readability on smaller screens, but for selection of options with fingers, stylus and keyboards, depending on the device used to access it.

iphone_askme You can view the ASK Mobile Edition demo site here. If you'd like to see it as it appears on a mobile device, you can use the Opera Mini Java demo here. Just type into the demo browser’s address bar to connect to the ASK Mobile Edition demo site.

This same approach can be taken with any Inmagic database and WebPublisher Pro, making search and results pages fit a smaller form factor. The effort to do so is not great – from half a day up to a couple of days for Andornot to help you.

The mobile web is all about making access even more convenient for users – allowing them to look something up the moment they think of it, wherever they are. The question is no longer "Why would someone want to search my database from their palm"; it's "Why wouldn’t they?" Don't get left behind as more users seek out mobile-friendly information. Contact us today to see how we can help put your databases in users' hands.

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