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The mobile web refers to the use of the internet through handheld mobile devices. Increasingly, smartphones and other devices with wireless data access structures access the same "full" internet traditionally accessed on desktop or laptop computers.
The mobile web most often refers to access via a conventional mobile browser, although the line blurs when it comes to apps. Clearly, these still access the Internet wirelessly, but some differentiate from a browser-based site, as compared to an app specific to one property.
Mobile web access comes with some unique challenges. One is the idea of standardization. The Mobile Web Initiative from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) aims to provide standards for mobile web access.
The smaller display screen is another major development hurdle. Many website designers have had trouble adapting web pages to look good on both computers and handheld devices. It can be a tough decision – whether to build one site that accommodates all screen sizes, as opposed to one site for desktops and another for mobile. As HTML5 is more commonly used, the hope is that accomplishing these tasks will require less coding.
Finally, speed is a major issue. A Wi-Fi connection is generally good enough for any web application. Of course, Wi-Fi is not truly mobile, versus a wireless carrier’s 3G or 4G network. Given that many parts of the world do not have strong 3G/4G access, latency is a major mobile development concern.