In previous posts, I explored BlackBerry apps that help B2B marketers, B2B public relations professionals and B2B sales teams better communicate, travel, organize and share information. However, when it comes to the default smartphone many businesspeople are required to use, taking the time to research, find and download useful apps can often be more trouble than they are worth.
Mobile websites designed to work within the confines of a smartphone’s small screen, limited navigation and slower Internet speeds can often be a handy work-around for BlackBerry users frustrated with the phone’s limited selection of apps compared to the iPhone and Droid app stores.
Mobile web usage is expected to overtake desktop usage by 2015, and companies are beginning to make sure their websites provide a comparable experience. B2B BlackBerry users can leverage mobile sites to better utilize their phones’ browsers, with or without a huge selection of apps.
Here are some mobile sites that make the BlackBerry’s lack of apps a little easier to swallow:
Of all of the mobile YouTube options that Google offers, the mobile site (m.youtube.com) is the only version that works on BlackBerry. On my BlackBerry Curve, videos open in the BlackBerry media player and can be viewed “full screen,” which doesn’t actually take up the entire screen but still loads at a decent rate. Visitors can search and upload videos as well.
Google has said its mobile versions of YouTube will receive more frequent updates and improvements than its YouTube apps. This challenge to app-based phone models (namely Apple) could be the beginning of a trend that leads to a bigger focus on mobile site features and usability.
On a BlackBerry, mobile sites for airlines such as Southwest (m.southwest.com), American Airlines (m.aa.com) and Delta (mobile.delta.com) allow passengers to modify flights and rental cars, check in at airports and view their flights’ statuses. Hotels.com (m.hotels.com) and Traffic.com (mobi.traffic.com) also provide travelers with mobile versions of their websites.
3. Business news
Almost all major news site now have mobile versions, including business publications. The Wall Street Journal (m.wsj.com), The New York Times’ Business Day (m.nyt.com/business) and Forbes Business (mobile.forbes.com) highlight business news important to B2B professionals in an easy-to-view format.
4. File sharing
While the Dropbox BlackBerry app’s official launch date is still TBD, the file sharing service’s mobile site offers users a clean, simple interface to share documents, photos, videos and more across multiple platforms. Dropbox users can browse files in their accounts, as well as download and view.
Which mobile sites do you have bookedmarked in your BlackBerry browser? How do they compare to the apps on your phone?
Karlie Justus is a Contributing Writer at SocialMediaB2B.com. Follow Karlie on Twitter at @KarlieJ.