One of the interesting facts about mobile phones is that although they provide Internet browsers but users (I mean all of us) are reluctant to use it, i dont know exactly why, maybe because phone browsers are not efficient enough...but i feel it has something to do with the perception of mobile phones in our minds and also the fact that people tend to expect applications on mobile phones simpler and easier to deal with than PC applications.
that's why there are heaps of application out there providing some services to users which has already been available on the WEB.you probabaly have some applications like Youtube or Flicker client installed on your mobile phone or some widgets like Weather Forecast or Web Search. they are actually just a neaty, easy to use,integrated and graphically more attractive version of some well known Web-Based Services.
I was talking with one of my friends the other day, he has an iPhone and he showed me a couple of applications which he had downloaded before, among them were a few applications that all they were doing was to go and parse the HTML code of a Website, extract what they want and show them to users in a bit more appealing fashion, plus they had some new and kind of innovative extra options which cannot be done when you are using a web browser.
initially I was thinking it would be ridiculous to spend some time and effort to extract some information out of HTML code of another site and show it to people when they can go straight to the originall Web site.but my friend convinced me that it's actually a pretty good idea, he showed me the Rate of the application and talked about how handy it was for him and why he prefered using this application rathar that going to original web site...YES...he really tempted me to give it try....
In the first glance the whole thing might seem a bit dodgy and sneaky, parsing the HTML code of a site and use it to make another application which is actually doing the same thing....but the reallity is that it is a kind of WIN-WIN situation for everyone...if there is a Web site out there Willing to serving users and because of whatever reasonthey haven't got a decent Mobile Phone interface for their services what would be more delightful than having
someone else develope it for you for FREE...
Fair enough...but why am i talking about these stuff?....actually i am just trying to adjust what i am about to start to do.. ;)
yes..i'm gonna develope an application which will be doing exactly what www.whitepages.com.au is doing. and most challenging part of this application will probabely be how to extract required information out of HTML page since i have had no experience in this area so far...sounds like Fun...doesn't it? ;)
I have also decided to design a bit more better GUI for next application, although it's always been a real headache to me.
But the truth is even if you have a most reliable,secure and efficient system with a crappy GUI, no one is gonna use that...
anyway let me know what you think about the whole HTML data extraction thing, have got any application like the one my friend had?which features were there which made you think it'd better to use it rather than going to originall website?
or how many times did you say 'I wish i could do this' when you were visiting a website through your phone browser and felt like you stuck with a isolated tool which cannot be integrated with other facilities of your SMART Phone?