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The Friendly Web

I present my (somewhat UK-centric) guide to mobile-friendly web resources and applications. In each case, the content is guaranteed ultra low-bandwidth, so you can access it directly on your PDA or smartphone over an expensive GPRS, EDGE or 3G account. The idea is that you bookmark this one page and then all the links and content are just one click away.

Updated by popular demand October 2011

Searching for stuff around you

Try, which works very well for mobiles and searches all the most common categories of businesses and services around your chosen location.

Plus, of course, and (hint: head for the 'Places' tab), both of which accept and save your location and can supply search matches and contact information sorted by distance.


If you'd rather let the train take the strain, use the auto-detecting National Rail site.

Here's British Airways mobile-friendly site, optimised for UK and USA passengers. And see here for Flight Status, a wonderful mobile resource.

The popular travel planning and communications service Dopplr has this handy mobile site.

And here's the Transport for London auto-detecting site, giving you real time status information on tubes, buses and more.


Here's the BBC's site, very comprehensive.

Or try The Guardian's mobile site, also recommended, or CNN, for a world view.

For money news, see the Financial Times


The BBC also do a Sports version of their news site, equally fully stocked. Or why not try Sky Sports instead, for a slightly more commercial take?


Try the BBC again, here's their Weather home page.

Or the Weather Underground. Or the well respected Weather Channel.


If you'd rather read about worms than wars and politics, try Wired. For mobile news, try All About Symbian or Engadget Mobile.



Wapedia gives a PDA view of the famous Wikipedia or there's the official mobile site.

Food and Drink

See the Good Food Channel for tens of thousands of mobile-friendly recipes!

DrinkBoy is useful for cocktails.


The IMDB site auto-detects mobile well.

Web searching

Do I need to mention Google? And Microsoft's rival search engine Bing?

For anything vaguely mathematical or scientific, use Wolfram Alpha, which can even do complex calculations.


Quick email

Your device's Email application is more than enough for email fixes, usually. But just occasionally, it's nice to have direct access to your generic POP3 mailbox via the web, in which case make sure you bookmark Mail2Pda or World Wide Mobile Mail.

Google's Gmail detects mobile use and serves up a useful mobile site. And Microsoft's Live system also loves mobile access (for Live and Hotmail etc)

Shopping and Leisure

Stuff, Auctions, Books, DVDs

eBay has an excellent mobile version, for bidding, searching for things and for checking on your seller auctions, as does Amazon, both detecting phone use and serving up the mobile site.


Here's the Vue multiplex chain auto-detecting site (UK).


Oddschecker does what it says on the tin.


Autotrader has a useful mobile site.



TV has a graphical chart for all channels that's well suited to mobile browsing. And it's all hyperlinked!

The BBC has a TV home page with mobile features and what's on now, and more.

Package Tracking

There are mobile tracking sites for FedEx and UPS, plus an all-enveloping multi-service tracker, Track-trace.

Social and Cloud Services

NB. Some of these service can make Symbian Web (with default settings) go a little pop-up crazy. You may wish to go into 'Settings>General' in Web and set 'Security warnings' to 'Hidden'?

Facebook has good mobile auto-detection, you'll see!

For Twitter, use this explicit mobile version, plus Dabr is a great third party service that offers more in less screen real estate.

For photo sharing via Flickr, use this mobile link. Or access your Picasa photos here.

Google+ is quite usable at a basic level via a stripped down interface.

If your social fun is often location-based (events, clubs), then Foursquare has a great auto-sensing mobile site.

For file sharing and online document access, there's Dropbox's fairly functional mobile site, as long as you have a fairly modern mobile browser - older ones need not apply!


See also 'rival' PDA portal igloo.

As a last resort, there are some web site 'translators', which can help strip down complex web pages for which there's no mobile equivalent. For example, see Mowser.

If you can suggest another site for the list, or if you find a broken or changed link, please get in touch with the PayPal address above!