PC Magazine has an article on how mobile upgrades should be done (how Apple is getting it right). This is something that has really ticked me off about other mobile operating systems, and why I think a lot of web application developers will tend to choose the iPhone as a platform of choice. With Apple/iPhone, I can develop using (desktop) Safari as a test environment and open up the SDK to test mobile Safari with faith that my app is going to run well on any of the millions of iPhones in the wild. That’s because the “wild” for iPhones is not all that wild. It’s actually pretty standard.
Compare that to BlackBerry. When someone asks me, “does One tsp. (my recipe app) work on a BlackBerry,” I have to say, “well, that depends.” I’ve basically given BlackBerry users the stripped-down version of my mobile site because to support BlackBerry means supporting a whole range of BlackBerry web browsers that have been created over the last three years, or so. If RIM upgraded their browsers on each of their mobile devices when new versions became available, then maybe we’d have a platform I could support.
If anyone has tips or suggestions for testing web applications across different versions of BlackBerry browsers, I would love to hear from you in the comments, or find me on twitter at @mikebrittain.