File Under: Mobile

Mobile Browsers Deserve Location Data

How come my desktop browser can get my location, but mobile Safari on my iPhone acts as if it doesn’t know where I am? I hate to seem impatient, but there is a proposed geolocation standard. Mobile browsers should adopt it swiftly.

The mobile web is here. The iPhone and Android are going to duke it out, and the end result will be more users. Facebook’s mobile visitors have tripled in the last year. That’s a lot of mobile browsing.

If the location-aware services are going to be as disruptive as everyone has said, these devices need to get better at sharing the information available within them. Yes, Android and iPhone both have apps. But we shouldn’t need to wrap our web projects in an app just to access the coordinates.

The Geode plugin for Firefox and its presence as a full feature in the browser’s most recent beta have proven it’s reasonable to include it even on a non-mobile machine. Despite the flakiness of WiFi-based geolocation, innovative sites have incorporated the technology. You can shout your whereabouts or tie files to a location all with the help of browser-based geolocation. Of course, we have a Geode/Gears geolocation tutorial so you can incorporate it, too.

But we really want it incorporated in mobile devices, so we’d be able to see some real innovation. Location-based services are at the horse and buggy stage right now. Let’s give it an engine.

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