As I mentioned in a recent post, I won a Samsung Galaxy Tab by entering Go Pet Friendly’s Zyrtec contest. It has all kinds of features that I’m trying to figure out, but while I’ve been dipping my toes slowly into other functions, I’ve been doing something I’m pretty good at: Reading my favorite blogs.
And I’ve discovered some of them are far easier to view than others in this new format. All those cool design features, those gorgeous photos many of them have…they just don’t come through. I see only a boring list of titles that I wouldn’t click on if I didn’t know they were worth clicking on. There’s nothing visually riveting to keep me there.
Early in 2010 I had my blog redesigned by a talented web guy, Brandon H. Jones. I had asked for certain features — sorry, I don’t remember what they were — and he said, “You don’t want those. People with mobile devices won’t be able to see them well.” Now I know what he’s talking about.
The good news: Many of my favorite blogs look great. They include Go Pet Friendly — whew! it would be a drag if the tablet I won came back to bite them — Pawcurious, Dancing Dog Blog, Something Wagging This Way Comes, I Still Want More Puppies, Dog Jaunt, Doggie Stylish, and Dog Star Daily.
Some others, however… not so much. I’m not going to out them here; that wouldn’t be nice. What surprised me is that some of the bloggers are very tech savvy.
I don’t know the common denominator of the successful blogs; several of them — including PawCurious and Doggie Stylish — have lots of bells and whistles, so it’s not all about simplicity. They use different blog platforms too, from Blogger to WordPress to WordPress with a little Joomla thrown in (yo, Karen!)
I may not have the answers, but I do have the device, and I’m happy to tell you how your blog looks on it. Just ask me in the comments section. If you want me to answer you in private, I’ll do that too. My answers will be very brief (looks great; sorry). There’s a limit to my procrastination.
Note: I don’t have a smart phone or an IPad, only one amazing Android tablet. So I can only tell you how your blog looks on that.
One more thing…When I googled Brandon to give him credit, I couldn’t find him; he didn’t have a website when I worked with him so I’m not shocked, and I do have his contact info if anyone wants it. But, oddly, I did find another web designer with the same name (no middle initial) who wrote a great article on the topic: The State of Web Design Trends: 2011 Annual Edition. I got the image I used here from that story.
Update: It turns out the Android tablet is a bit anomalous. Plug-ins that enabled Apple and Android phones and iPads to view blogs didn’t always work on the Samsung Galaxy tab.
23 thoughts on “Is Your Blog Design Android Tablet Friendly?”
This is very informative. And oddly synchronistic about finding the ‘wrong’ Brandon’s website. Funny (as in weird)! btw, I just got the new iphone – talk about toys, I’ve been carrying on conversations with it!
This reminded me of a smaller-scale but related problem- I have been trying to tell my friends who send elaborate .pdf s with lots of cool graphics, about their shows, exhibits, events, that I wasn’t able to open them on my non-smartphone cellphone,and sometimes even on the desktop, and that they needed to at least put the who, what, where info into the body of the email so I could read what it was about. One event coordinator who shall remain namelss, for a large community center here, replied in a snit that I should learn how to open her .pdf files…so your blog makes me feel Vindicated. a small victory to be sure, but it shows that we are all struggling to get in front of this brave new internet age, not to even mention how to make money doing it..
Yes, even with my desktop it’s sometimes hard to get large files via emails. It’s the responsibility of the sender, not the recipient, to make sure files are accessible to everyone.
Congrats on your new toy!
Please check out http://dog-blessed-silverwalk.org on your tablet. The theme I use for my WordPress blog gives an option to make it mobile friendly (and it is – I’ve checked – but here it is: http://blessedsilence.wordpress.com) but was unsure about Blogger (which is where dog-blessed is). thanks – I have everything Apple – MacPro, iPad and just went landline-less with iPhone 4S via Sprint.
I agree – it is up to the sender to make attachments user-friendly. I use Google Docs for pdf or doc formats for my PC friends if they can’t open my rtf or text format. Thanks – enjoy your tablet!
Both of them look great, Roberta. In fact, they seem to have more depth and color on my tablet than they do on my desktop.
I am definitely having too much fun with my new toy!
When you get a chance would you check out the Poodles, dogs and me to see how we look? Also Skippy’s naughty r-rated blog.
The Poodle and Dog blog looks good, Jan! But which is Skippy’s naughty r-rated blog?
Here’s a link to Jan’s (oops, Skippy, her evil twin’s) slightly R-rated blog: http://thepoodleanddogblog.typepad.com/a_slightly_r_rated_dog_bl/.
It’s one of my favorites.
Ah, thanks Pamela! It works fine on my tablet, Jan.
I have to admit I did not install the mobile template yet on my blogger platform, it looks sort of ok on iphone/ipad through safari. But no idea what it looks like on an Android. Something I have to revisit soon. If you could have a quick look that would be very much appreciated.
Glad you are liking your new toy! I have an iPad and it is perfect for Twitter and browsing blogs. Commenting on blogs is sometimes cumbersome, but I expect that also to be partly an issue with the visited blog. If it doesn’t support smart phones/tablets very well you have to enter your credentials over and over again to comment.
My biggest disappointment with the iPad was that it doesn’t interact well with the blogger admin part. So I cannot write blogs on it.
How is the Android working for you on the commenting and blog admin part?
Your blog comes across perfectly on my Android tablet. I’m beginning to discover that this tab the odd man out, ie., that sites that it can’t see properly are clear on Ipad, Iphones, and even Android phones. Which would suggest to me that the problem is with the Android tablet, something they need to fix.
There are so many things I still have to figure out — I’m not very good at interacting with a screen rather than a keyboard at this point — that I don’t know yet what I can or can’t do. The tab does allow me to access the admin panel of WordPress but typing is cumbersome, and I have no clue how to access any images. All in good time, I’m sure. I still have to figure out what purpose it will serve for me. At this point I’m just very excited to have won it.
Aha. ONE Reason that some sites are not loading on some ipads is that as of this week they are no longer supporting FLASH. Photographers are having to rebuild elaborate websites in HTML. That’s what I get reading the ASMP blog-there’s bound to be some chatter elsewhere on the internet about this, and apps to make flash-mirrored html sites. beyond me…
But if I’m not mistaken yours is an Android based as opposed to Apple – maybe this goes for both platforms getting rid of Flash. some techies perhaps could weigh in on this?
Flash is a problem on this Android platform too — but most of the blogs I look at only have small portions in Flash, including the petitions. That must be a nightmare for photographers. I just checked out the photography site of one of my friends, Amy Haskell, on the tablet. Not good!
I tried to download the newest version of Flash on this tablet since I got an “out of date” message but didn’t succeed.
Thanks for checking out my blog. I’m pleased to know it’s easy to read. Since I don’t even have a cell phone, I’ve never known what people were seeing when they brought up my site on a mobile reader.
Glad you’re enjoying your new toy.
You’re welcome. Looking at things on a tablet is an entirely different experience. But of course everything I do is a different experience — not always in a good way. I think I’ll probably use it more for movies and books rather than for blogging and email reading, since typing is awkward.
Oh, my husband really wants the Galaxy Tab for Christmas . .I have an iPad, but he is sold on the Galaxy Tab! So glad that you are having fun with it 😉 My blog looks fine on the iPad . .I wonder if it works on your tab? http://www.thedailydogblog.com. I am a web designer and sometimes it can be hard to keep up with technology and the way it affects design!
Julie, it looks great on the Galaxy Tab (your husband will be relieved to hear). Apparently there’s no predicting whether a blog will look right on an Android tablet even if it looks okay on an Android phone and on an Apple tablet.
Just curious: Why does your husband want a Galaxy Tab rather than an iPad? I’d love to know since my computer and laptop are both Macs.
He works in a platform called Salesforce and there are some things he couldn’t do in the program on my iPad – plus, he is convinced that it is better! I was so excited when I got my Droid Incredible and then two months later he got an ever cooler phone! 🙂
Ah, boys and their toys! (Although I’ve got to admit I could be pretty geeky too if I was a more instinctive learner of tech stuff.)
@Pamela – I can’t even tell you how jealous I am that you do NOT have a cell phone 🙂
What a great post. I had the mobile version of Kol’s Notes enabled for a while, but it isn’t compatible with the Intense Debate comment system that I use. I was loosing comments left, right and center.
I know Kol’s Notes functions well on my iPhone and my iPad, but I would be very curious to know it it has any Andriod issues. (PS – on that keyboard issue, I have a little bluetooth keyboard that I can use when I want to do blog reading/commenting. I still use my lap top if I am at home, but I fine the little keyboard really hand for when I am on the go.)
Glad to help! Kol’s Notes is a little wonky on my Android tablet — the portion I can see looks good but it doesn’t all fit in on the screen. I’m still having trouble with some basic functions like zooming in and out but I think in this case it’s the format that’s giving me problems. Apparently, too, some sites that can be seen perfectly well on Android phones don’t work well on the tablet. Strange but true.
Thanks for the advice on the Bluetooth keyboard. I’ll invest in one if I take the tablet on the road. I use my laptop — or desktop — at home too. Right now I’m just having fun with my new toy.
I’m so glad that you’re having fun with your new gadget and that it’s coming in handy. Thanks for checking out our blog – it’s good to know that our photos are coming through fine because the blog would be a drag without them. This is a great post – one that got me thinking. As more people move to the convenience of mobile devices, we bloggers need to be sure we’re accommodating their needs or we may lose our readers. Thank you!
Whew… I’m glad mine looked okay! I have no idea why… I’m definitely not one of the tech savvy ones. I did check some box related to mobile browsing on Blogger, so perhaps that’s it. Or perhaps I’m just making stuff up. 🙂
Anyway, when I eventually make the move to WordPress, I hope that it still works on the tablet. It’s definitely something I’ll be keeping in mind.