15 Essential Mobile Web Sites

A whole parallel Web universe is out there just for phone and PDA users. Here are a few of our favorite sites designed for mobile phones. Some require membership to use fully, and three are iPhone-only.

Amazon Anywhere

The mobile version of lets you search the entire online storefront, view your account history, and even use one-click ordering to get that "Heroes" box set with a minimum of screen tapping. (Note: Be sure to read our review of mobile browsers.)

eBay Mobile

It's a nearly complete version of eBay, just miniaturized and streamlined for mobile devices. The site lets you search for and bid on items, though trolling through all 724 pages of Hummel figurine auctions on a 2-inch screen could be a daunting challenge.

Facebook for iPhone

This is one of the best-looking sites on the iPhone. While it doesn't have all the features of the full site (no add-on applications), it comes awfully close and includes the vaunted news feed, your inbox, and access to all your Face-friends.

Fandango Mobile

Browse movies and theaters, pick a showtime, and buy tickets, all via the simple interface of Fandango Mobile. If you have a Fandango account already, you're in and out in 60 seconds. Now you just have to sit through the film.

Flickr Mobile

When you get sick of reading, look at some pretty pictures with the mobile version of Flickr, which lets you search for keywords or simply browse recent shots. Sign in, and you can leave comments via your mobile phone, too.


National Weather Service Mobile

There are many ways to check the weather on your smart phone, but the National Weather Service's efficient site offers a broad array of weather-related features, including a seven-day forecast, animated long-range radar, and access to weather discussion groups.

Netflix Mobile

This pint-size version of Netflix lets you browse for movies, add them to your queue, and see what's currently on your wish list. You can't remove films from your queue or change their order in the lineup (other than by moving a film to the top), but if you just want to top off your rental list with a few new titles, this mobile app works great.


Trying to use the iPhone's Notes application for any meaningful purpose is likely to send you running back to Post-Its in despair. Enter OneTrip, an iPhone-only Web-based application designed to handle that most common of note-taking tasks, the shopping list. It's clean, it's simple, and it gets the job done.

Orbitz Mobile Flight Status

Don't go hunting on individual airline Web sites trying to figure out whether a flight is going to be on time. This mobile version of Orbitz offers easy access to flight information on every airline from ATA to Virgin. Many foreign carriers are also included.


It's not much to look at, but the mobile version of PopURLs provides a quick way to scan newsworthy and offbeat headlines culled from Digg,, and Reddit. Even better: Scroll down to see a few popular Flickr photos refreshed every day.



This lightweight version of Wikipedia features all the contents of the invaluable online encyclopedia, but strips out the images and the excess navigation. You pay for access in the form of a small banner ad, but it's still the fastest way to find out what you need to know.

Yelp Mobile

The popular restaurants-and-local-businesses search site goes mobile, with almost all of its standard features, such as photos and reader reviews, intact. We're hungry just browsing it.

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