If you ever wanted to have a web presence for yourself or your business, there was never any dearth of choices. There are many service providers which let you create web sites quickly using templates and wizards. Google Sites, Google Pages, Yahoo/Tripod/Geocities all let you create such web sites. However, if you wanted to create a site that could be viewed on a PDA or mobile, it was not that easy. You either needed specialized products or at the very minimum had to create a different template (or theme) that was optimized for mobile delivery.
Volantis now brings its well regarded Mobility Server (which it had open sourced recently) to power Ubik.com, a service that enables individuals and small businesses create sites for mobiles just like they are used to creating web sites. Volantis has a device library of more than 5100 devices and as a result, the site that is created is automatically “adapted” for viewing on a wide variety of handsets.
Once you create an account, you will be given a choice of many themes and templates. Unlike similar services for web, a template here is actually more than just about look & feel – it is actually a sample starter site with pre-built pages that can be used as a starting point for your site. While you are creating the site, you can do a mobile preview as well. It also provides the ability to upload images and multimedia files using MMS and/or email. When you are ready, the site can be published at http://sitename.ubik.net.
I also see that if there is a hyperlink to another page which itself is not on this site, it automatically tries to adapt it for mobile display. This probably means that there is a way to convert external, existing sites to be proxied via this service for mobile delivery. However, I was not able to find a straight forward way. I assume it requires the external site to have its output in some specified format (xdime?) but then i’m not sure.
This is a beta version and i’m hoping they will add some more useful features in future:
- The site I create is only a mobile site. So I actually still need to create another one for the web using one of the other services. I would think that it should be easy to create a site for web and mobiles using ubik.com.
- Ability to use my own domain name
- Some dynamic templates would be very useful. Right now, I can only create a static site. As an example, a blogging template would be very nice to have.
Services such as these will indeed help in making the mobile internet much more popular. Now every one will be able to create a mobile site (and hopefully applications as well).