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New Pentax Mobile Site

Easy access to PentaxForums.com from your mobile device · 04-21-2014 · By PF Staff in PentaxForums News
New Pentax Mobile Site

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.

Activation

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.

Deactivation

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.

New Mobile Homepage:
Old Mobile Homepage:
Old Skin

Walkthrough

Next, we will take a closer look at some of the features of the new mobile site.

Forum Homepage

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.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/1_forumhome.png

Directly below the thread list is the traditional forum index that you're used to seeing on the desktop site.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/1_fh2.png

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.

  http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/8_login.pngForum 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.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/8_navbar.png

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.

Browsing Forums

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.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/3_forumdisplay.png

The "new thread" interface has gotten a larger text box with easy-to-read fonts.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/3_newthread.png

Reading Threads

When you go into a thread, you will see a reply button, simplified pagination, and easy-to-read post bits.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/3_showthread_top.png

You can "Like" other members' posts at the touch of a button:

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/3_showthread.png

And at the bottom of each thread, you will see the familiar Quick Reply editor:

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/3_quickreply.png

Below the quick reply editor you'll see buttons to subscribe to or ignore the current thread.

Searching

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.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/2_serachbox.png

The search results consist of a simplied thread listing.  Click on the "info" button for a thread preview and more information.

New Posts

The "New Posts" listing brings up a simplifed thread listing with thread thumbnails where appropriate.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/5_new_posts.png

Each thread can be expanded using the info button, just like search results.

User CP

At the bottom of each forum page, you will find a link to your user control panel.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/8_footer.png

From there, you can change settings, make a donation, browse subscribed and ignored threads, and access your PM inbox.

Homepage News

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.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/9_news_story.png

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/9_comment.png

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.

Homepage Reviews

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.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/9_rev.png

Clicking on "Camera Reviews" would take you to the camera review index:

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/9_revcam.png

Similarly, here's the Pentax lens review index:

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/9_revlens.png

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.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/9_revlens2.png

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.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/content/uploads/files/1/p1218/9_revcam2.png

Future Features

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!

PF Staff's avatar
About the author: Various writers regularly contribute articles to the Pentax Forums homepage blog. More recent articles are published under each author's forum username. We hope you enjoy our guides and news coverage!

Tags: mobile, tablet, smartphone, pentax, website, forum

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p38arover [Delete] May 3rd, 2014 4:10PM

Gaaahhh! One can't turn it off. Every time I log on, I get the mobile skin. Yes, I can turn it off for that session but the next log on has it back again.

I don't want it on my IPad.

HockeyDad [Delete] May 2nd, 2014 10:41AM

Any chance Surface tablet users could access it at m.pentaxforums or something like that? This new interface is very touch friendly!

HockeyDad [Delete] Apr 27th, 2014 5:36PM

Checked it out on my phone. Very nice!

HockeyDad [Delete] Apr 26th, 2014 4:58AM

If I use ie it is: "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64; Trident/7.0; Touch; rv:11.0) like Gecko"

With firefox: "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64; rv:28.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/28.0"

It's a Surface Pro, so in all ways a regular Windows laptop with a touch interface. For me, it's work laptop by day and forum reading tablet by night. :-)

Adam [Delete] Apr 26th, 2014 12:07AM

@Hockeydad, can you post your device's user agent string?

@Diggoar, see the top of this post

HockeyDad [Delete] Apr 25th, 2014 9:40PM

Any way to access it from a Surface tablet? I'm guessing I don't see the option since the site detects it as a Windows PC.

Diggoar [Delete] Apr 25th, 2014 12:16PM

hate the new mobile forums. i will for sure not use it. how can i change it back to the old design??

Adam [Delete] Apr 23rd, 2014 12:43AM

Easier embedding of links and photos sounds like a great feature. I've now added link and URL buttons to the bottom of the new reply and new thread editors. Later on perhaps we'll add attachment support too :)

KGH [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 1:43PM

Maybe it's just me, but I think this new screen is what I have been seeing for a while now. I haven't seen the old look on mobile for a while now, many months maybe. Maybe this has been a soft roll-out. I remember noticing the difference when I was affected, i prefer the newer look, but prefer the full site even on my tablet. The new mobile site looks sleeker, but I just know where it all is on the full site. I like comfort.

maw [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 10:42AM

Congratulations to Adam and the team, for the new interface for mobile devices, great work and a lot of passion. At the moment I can not use it, because I do not own a Tablet or Smartphone. I think it is wiser to invest in a Full Frame

Greetings, MAW

song_hm [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 10:07AM

Request for pinch+zoom support on tablet please. Thanks.

todd [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 9:45AM

I've enjoyed the mobile skin since finally purchasing a smartphone about a year ago... One thing that would be nice (for us image sharers) would be to have a way to embed an image url like we can do on the full site. The times I've wanted to share an image on the go, I've had to switch over to the full site to do so then switch back.. I can just keep doing that but it would be a welcomed addition.. Thanks for all the good stuff you guys do around here! ;)

NotSteve [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 8:07AM

Thanks Adam et al for all the hard work that goes into keeping this such a great site! I look forward to exploring the mobile site.

Fl_Gulfer [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 7:42AM

What is a iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Samsung Galaxy, and other Andriod devices. It is so nice being retired. Don't even own a portable phone.....

spartan [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 5:38AM

pentax on the go

ronniemac [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 2:50AM

Well done guys, fantastic job, much appreciated.

chromo [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 2:27AM

Looks excellent

Pande [Delete] Apr 22nd, 2014 12:33AM

Looks good:-) You done a nice job!