For quite some time now, we've been getting requests for a mobile version of The Tech Report. Browsing the site is already possible on a phone, of course, but it's not a perfect experience. There's a lot of dragging and panning involved, navigating the comments section is a little awkward, and some stuff just doesn't look all that great.
Well, I'm happy to say that a bona-fide mobile layout for The Tech Report is almost ready. TR programming guru Bruno Ferreira and I have spent the last month or so working on it. We've redesigned and re-styled everything from article templates to comment threads and image galleries, and we've implemented the latest auto-detection wizardry so that, if everything works well, you'll be served the mobile site automatically when visiting us from a phone.
We're currently putting the finishing touches on TR Mobile, and now, we need your help. Our development site can be accessed at the URL below. We need some of you to poke and prod and kick the tires to make sure everything works as it should.
You can activate the mobile layout either by opening that link on a phone or by clicking the "Mobile" link in the footer. (Tablets should get the full version of the site by default.) We recommend opening the link in your browser's "private" or "incognito" mode or in an alternative browser; otherwise, you'll have to login again to the main TR site.
Now, a few things to keep in mind as you test:
- Our development server isn't synced with the production server, so anything you post there won't appear here.
- The mobile version of the forums is functionally ready for the most part, but we haven't finished styling it yet.
- We're not serving ads in the mobile layout yet, but we will after it moves into production.
- Comments discussions, which aren't threaded in the mobile layout, currently appear in reverse-chronological order by default. We intend to change the default order to chronological, so that new threads are less confusing to read.
- And that's about it.
We'd appreciate any feedback or bug reports you can offer us. We're not going to redesign the whole thing this late in the game, of course, but if you spot any major usability issues or quirks, do let us know.