A 5" or smaller touch-screen device with a virtual or thumb-sized keyboard simply cannot deliver the same experience as a 10" or larger device with a good virtual or preferably physical keyboard. This isn't a matter of poor web design - or not solely that. It is also just a case of physical limitations based on the size of the interface.
Short of a disruptive technology for user interfaces that makes these smaller devices as productive and easy to use as a larger device, the mobile web is always going to be more about content consumption than about creation.
There are still a lot of very important roles that I'm hesitant to approach with a mobile device or a tablet - including most of my ePurchasing. Standalone apps for smart-devices are just one solution - but anyone who has wanted to "like" a comment using the Android or iOS Facebook app and found that option sometimes unavailable knows that apps are inconsistent in delivering the same, full experience that a desktop PC user enjoys.
Now, consumer appliances built on "mobile" OS platforms (both lightweight hardware and lightweight OS platforms) will undoubtedly grow in consumer market presence at the expense of PC sales going forward. But that experience as it relates to the web, will need to become *exactly* the same as a desktop experience. Browsers like Dolphin HD are a great step in that direction - but they still fall down from time to time.
There is no reason that a multi-touch device should have tremendous difficulty rendering and working with a mouse-oriented web-page to deliver a consistent experience regardless of what device you're on.
The ASUS Transformer and the Transformer Prime both have a pointer and a Trackpad when docked. It isn't the hardware that prevents those mouse-centric web-pages from working correctly - it is the mobile BROWSER itself, which is scaled down and oriented to interpret all pointing and clicking as FINGER oriented, not mouse oriented.
The Wii was a breakthrough in console gaming that had everyone talking about how the entire philosophy of game interface devices was going to change. And Sony and Microsoft jumped right on board with their own motion oriented devices. In fact, the WiiMote and Kinect and whatever Sony has going work well and really enhance CERTAIN kind of games. But it turns out that for a lot of traditional style gaming, these motion sensing controllers actually kind of suck. Form follows function - and multi-touch, finger-oriented interfaces are great for a lot of things - but they're NOT going to *replace* the mouse and keyboard, and that includes how we interface with the web and web based apps. The idea that all of the web will have to become mobile device friendly is impractical - because there are limitations to what the interface methodology and form factor of mobile devices can do.
Just as a WiiMote is great for a game that simulates bowling or archery but is kind of sucks for most FPS or other traditional style games - Mobile devices are great for what they do, but inherently less capable on delivering a more full featured experience.
That may be good enough for a lot of people, maybe even the majority of people. If there is a danger going forward, that may be it. Not that we'll see the mobile web experience grow richer, but that we'll see the full desktop web experience dumbed-down to make sure the consistent experience of the slowest ships in the fleet (mobile devices) matches the experience of the fastest (full fledged PCs). If that happens, it certainly isn't *progress* we're talking about.
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