Apple has teamed up with Nokia to produce an open source version of Safari to work on the next Nokia cellphones due out next year. This new web browser project is supposed to be compatible with a slew of other cellphones as well, including ones from LG and Samsung.
As a web designer, this makes me excited because that means the CSS mobile profile might become a reality for mobile browser users now that a great browser like Safari is rendering it all.
But What Does This Mean?
It means a lot of cool things, to both designers and users. For designers, it now means we can use web standards like XHTML and CSS to design for both our client-side browsers and the new mobile ones, and we’ll know exactly how a mobile browser will display our styles. This was a big problem before, because many cell phone browsers were proprietary and didn’t adhere to many standards, therefore designers had no real clue as to how their websites would look when displayed on a small screen. Now, we can use the “mobile” CSS media type to test our work before it gets deployed, and we can use our favorite CSS techniques knowing that they’ll show up on a Safari-powered cell browser.
For users, this means you can expect lots of great websites to start designing much nicer mobile versions ASAP. Designers who use CSS can make a mobile version of a website much quicker (and mobile web applications as well) which means the time from development to deployment is quicker and users can enjoy web services they previously thought were unusable on a mobile device.
It’ll definitely be a good thing all around, and it’s good to know that CSS is powering this revolution.