I met Cameron after his first conference talk in Europe at the @media conference in London in June 2006. He was talking about the same thing there - Mobile Web Design - and I really liked his presentation. Since then we both kept on doing research in the mobile area and Cameron just released his first book and it’s a great one!
Early chapters entitled “Mobile Web Fundamentals” give a great amount of background information on the mobile web market and usage, the concept of being “mobile” (it’s not the device, but the user that’s mobile) and on the fundamental limitations in this area (screen size, input methods, carriers etc.).
I especially liked the focus on what I really feel is important about the mobile web, even though it is in contrast to the newest developments in the browser and handset market: it’s not about bringing the desktop web to mobile devices, people, it’s about creating mobile web applications that serve people’s needs while they’re on the go!
Browser differences are also thoroughly covered in Cameron’s book and even Microformats are mentioned as a possible way to solve context-related problems in browsers, i.e. adding contextual info to things like contacts and phone numbers in the markup, so the device knows what do do with this type of content (add it to the address book/call the number).
The main section is divided into four approaches how to implement mobile web sites and applications: do nothing, reduce images and styling, use handheld stylesheet, create mobile-optimized content. It also covers topics like testing and validation as well as advanced techniques, such as SVG and Ajax (I’m mentioned in a book, yeehaa!). The final chapters contain things like promoting your mobile content, dotmobi and semacodes.
Overall the book is an excellent summary of the current status in mobile web design and a great resource for anybody who thinks of creating a mobile version of his existing website or better yet, a new, web based, mobile service (that should actually be almost everybody in the web design/development community).
The book is a must-buy and it is available as a PDF at the book’s homepage: http://www.mobilewebbook.com.