Today, we're happy to unveil a overhauled version of our mobile site with a host of improvements to make it even easier to browse while on the go. Even though we've featured a mobile site since 2011, we feel that it hasn't been robust enough for comfortable mobile browsing until now.
The new mobile site lets you browse not only the forum, but also our homepage news and in-depth reviews. On the forum you'll now be able enjoy larger images and easier access to new content and private messaging.
Our mobile skin currently supports all web-enabled smartphones and tablets, such as the iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Samsung Galaxy, and other Andriod devices. iPads have large screens and will therefore always be shown our full site.
To activate our mobile site, simply visit the homepage (pentaxforums.com) or the forum (pentaxforums.com/forums/) from your mobile web browser. The mobile site should load automatically. However, if you're shown the full version of our site, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the "Enable Mobile" or "Mobile Skin" links, as shown in screenshot 1 and screenshot 2.
If feel your phone or tablet has a big enough screen to use our full site, you can always switch back using the "full site" link at the bottom of each mobile page, as shown in this screnshot.
Old vs. New
As you can see, the touch-friendliness, design, and readability of the new mobile skin have been drastically improved. The new skin will also stretch both next and images to match the width of your screen, so photos become larger on larger screens.
Next, we will take a closer look at some of the features of the new mobile site.
On the forum homepage you will find buttons taking you straight to new posts or unread PMs. You will also see a list of the latest forum threads.
Directly below the thread list is the traditional forum index that you're used to seeing on the desktop site.
Login and Menu
The menu is located in the upper-right corner of the mobile skin. There, you will find links to different sections of the forum. You will also be able to log in and register via the menu.
The arrow to the left of the menu button allows you to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. Similarly, the transparent arrow at the bottom of each page allows you to scroll to the top.
Forum menu screen
Once you log in, you will see additional links to content that you've created, as well as links to your private messages and subscribed threads.
When you head over to the homepage, you will see a slightly different menu with links to in-depth reviews and news articles. Both menus allow you to quickly switch between the forum and homepage.
Each forum contains the traditional thread listing, complete with content previews, latest post information, and links to the first unread post or last page of each thread.
The new mobile site also features arrows and buttons to facilitate easy navigation back to the forum index.
The "new thread" interface has gotten a larger text box with easy-to-read fonts.
When you go into a thread, you will see a reply button, simplified pagination, and easy-to-read post bits.
You can "Like" other members' posts at the touch of a button:
And at the bottom of each thread, you will see the familiar Quick Reply editor:
Below the quick reply editor you'll see buttons to subscribe to or ignore the current thread.
The magnifying glass icon at the top of each page brings down a search box that will allow you to search the forum or homepage, depending on where you are on the site.
The search results consist of a simplied thread listing. Click on the "info" button for a thread preview and more information.
The "New Posts" listing brings up a simplifed thread listing with thread thumbnails where appropriate.
Each thread can be expanded using the info button, just like search results.
At the bottom of each forum page, you will find a link to your user control panel.
From there, you can change settings, make a donation, browse subscribed and ignored threads, and access your PM inbox.
The mobile homepage gives you access to our news stories and in-depth reviews. When you open www.pentaxforums.com, you'll see a feed with the latest news stories.
When you click in to a news story, you'll be able to read the whole article and leave comments.
A new feature of the mobile skin is the ability to go from one story to the next via buttons directly above the comment area. It's no longer necessary to back to the homepage and click into the next story.
Within each story, there's also a link to the category index for that story.
Clicking on the appropriate link in the menu will take you to our newly-redesigned review index. This page contains a list of the latest reviews as well as links to all 6 of our in-depth review categories.
Clicking on "Camera Reviews" would take you to the camera review index:
Similarly, here's the Pentax lens review index:
We've greatly improved the readability of each individual review. You'll find arrow buttons to return to the corresponding review index from each page, and at the bottom of each page you'll find a large button taking you to the next page. There's also a dropdown that will take you to any page of your choosing within the current review.
The larger your screen, the larger images you'll see. If there's a full-size sample that you'd like to enlarge, simply tap on it and it will open in a separate browser window.
Currently, our user reviews, photo albums, and photo gallery are not available via the mobile site. You will be shown the full site whenever you try to access these sections from a smartphone.
In the future, we plan to make all 3 of these sections mobile-friendly.
Our forum (but not the homepage) is currently also accessible via the Tapatalk mobile app. However, support for this app may be dropped in the future, so we recommend that all users switch over to the new mobile site.
To conclude, we understand that there are hundreds of different mobile devices out there, and that it's difficult to make a one-size-fits-all mobile site. Therefore, we welcome your suggestions in the comments section. If you're not able to see the mobile site from your phone or tablet, please let us know what device you're using in the comments section below.
We hope to see you on the mobile site soon!