The Evolution of the Mobile Browser experience
Before I dive into all the new features that come along with the move to responsive design, lets first go through some history and details so that you can better understand the changes and impacts to your Jive powered community.
What is the difference between Mobile Web via the Browser and the App I have on my iPhone?
Mobile Web is what you use when you have not yet downloaded the Jive Mobile App. Pop open mobile Safari or Chrome for Mobile and start jumping around the internet. How many sites are really formatted well when you get to them?
Traditionally Mobile Web has been used by our JiveX customers because most guests to a community would not think to download an app, they just want to get the answer to their question from the site they were directed to via Google. The Jive Community uses the current Mobile Web experience.
The Original Mobile Web Experience:
So we have had mobile browser access for a while, what is that like?
Introduced a few years back, "Mobile Web" was Jive's initial push into the mobile world. "Mobile Web" is HTML based, but also took a whole set of Jive APIs in order to create a mobile experience. Mobile web was a big driver for new APIs and is still accessible in the Jive Community, but as a mobile experience it has enough drawbacks that it was time for Jive to go a new direction. That new direction is responsive.
Note: The 'Original' Mobile browser experience is slated to be removed in our Fall Release of Cloud, so be sure to read through all the notes in this blog if you have users attached to that experience
The New Mobile Browser Experience
(viewing a place)
Responsive Mobile Browsing :
Instead of building a new HTML based app that works on mobile or trying to recreate features that already exist, what if you just had the desktop version of Jive adjust the user experience based on the size of the screen?
- Smaller screen = show larger buttons that are better suited for touch.
- Hide options that are too complex for mobile.
- Keep the same configuration and views that a user has set for their desktop experience.
Now Jive can now react to the size of the browser. No need to re-create code, just make sure the display is appropriate for mobile.
What is New?
- Faster access to new functionality in future releases
- Easier navigation
- Better user experience in places and groups
- Extended content type creation
- View all sorts of new content types (ideas, polls, etc)
- Pages and Tile support within places
- Search Filters if you need to refine your results
- Much easier to create a custom experience
- Consistency with Desktop
A comparison between 'old' and 'new'
You can create content from anywhere with the new userbar.
Profiles match the desktop experience.
Searching also has a 'drop down' to apply filters (I applied the 'people' filter in both of these screenshots)
You can view pretty much any content now. Polls, ideas (vote too!), blogs, etc.
Don't forget to like this blog
Even More Details
Ok, so what are the caveats?
The biggest consideration is that there are a TON of different mobile devices, each with a different browser or multiple options for browsers. So ... whats up?
- Older Android? Better experience on the Chrome browser (4.4 is officially supported for the Summer release)
- Older iPhone? Better experience on iOS 7 (iOS7 is officially supported for the Summer release)
- Blackberry and Windows Mobile may work, they will not yet be officially supported in the Summer release.
- Both are under review for further support.
- What is being released is NEW
- The original mobile web has not changed much over the last few years, which means you could consider the experience 'stabilized.' Since quite a few changes went in to our product to create the new browser experience you can expect to see some issues.
- Please let us know if/when you see issues!