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What does "mobile compatible" mean?

Q:

What does "mobile compatible" mean?

A:

Generally, the term "mobile compatible" means that a site can be viewed and used on a mobile device. This basic endorsement of a site for mobile use is different than another similar term, "mobile optimized," which means that designers have built in design features that make a site user friendly for mobile users.

The vast majority of sites on the Internet are mobile compatible. However, relatively few are mobile optimized. They are made predominantly for computer screens or other devices with larger screen sizes. The controls are not optimized for touch-screen interfaces.

In order to promote mobile compatibility and mobile optimization, there is a new feature called "responsive design" that is being built into Internet systems. Responsive design involves creating websites in ways that support mobile use. Two main aspects of responsive design would be allowing for a better viewing experience on a smaller screen, and aligning or orienting controls where a mobile user can easily get to them.

Mobile compatibility and mobile optimization will be an enormous part of web design in the future. Currently, a sizable percentage of users access websites through their mobile phones rather than through other kinds of devices. This leads to a lot of frustration with sites that aren’t easy to use from the mobile phone interface. Experts are predicting that as mobile devices continue to take over, companies and website managers will scramble to build in more mobile-oriented features and better mobile use design.

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At Techopedia, we aim to provide insight and inspiration to IT professionals, technology decision-makers and anyone else who is proud to be called a geek. From defining complex tech jargon in our dictionary, to exploring the latest trend in our articles or providing in-depth coverage of a topic in our tutorials, our goal is to help you better understand technology - and, we hope, make better decisions as a result. 

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