Since the popularity of mobile phones started growing in the mid 1990s, manufacturers have been relentless when it comes to dishing out new phones. What started out as devices that could allow you to call a person wherever you are has evolved, giving you the ability to now send text messages, watch movies, download graphics, and to surf the Web. Because of the popularity of these gadgets and how they’ve become an integral part of people’s lives, the W3C created the Mobile Web Initiative or MWI. The MWI’s mission is to create a positive web browsing experience for users whenever they use their mobile device to go online.
To accomplish this goal, the MWI has been tasked to create standards or guidelines that will allow website developers to create high-quality and reliable mobile content that can be easily accessed and viewed by users without any problems through their mobile phones. Here are some of the standards that have been implemented so far which have helped shaped the way mobile web devices have been used today:
One of the things implemented by the MWI is the integration of Scalable Vector Graphics or SVG in HTML. SVGs are geometric shapes that can be focused on or zoomed at depending on the user’s needs making them perfect for mobile devices. They can also be animated to create advanced user interfaces. By having SVG integrated into HTML – particularly HTML5 – developers are able to integrate advanced graphic filters into their multimedia content making them more interactive.
For multimedia, the MWI focused on the development of two tags: <video> and <audio> tags. These two tags allow developers to embed videos and sounds into their content to make them more dynamic and at the same time, enhance the integration of multimedia files into the web content being developed.
Storage is just as important in a mobile device which is why the MWI has worked on developing standards that will enable users to add data coming from other devices as well as save and export content. Two codes were created for developers to use to promote simple storage – localstorage and sessionstorage. Localstorage permits the permanent storing of data onto the device while Sessionstorage keeps information in the browser or web session.
Inputting data can be difficult when using a mobile device due largely to keyboard limitation. To solve this, the MWI has created a number of form controls to make data entry easy. First is the creation of “data and time entries” wherein a user can operate a native calendar control system. The second is the development of the
codes to optimize the process of entering data. The third is the “placeholder” attribute which insert “hints” to guide users into what they can type during text-input.
With the proliferation of touch screen handsets, improving user interaction has become one of the top priorities of the MWI. One of the steps taken to enhance this standard is the development of Touch Events using DOM or Document Object Models. DOMs are gadgets that have a touch-sensitive surface which users need to use to operate the handset. This is done by interpreting mouse events based on physical touch inputs to help users operate interactive web applications. Currently, the MWI is working on enhancing user experience when using touch-sensitive mobile devices to ensure that they function and respond quickly based on the demands of the user.