If you have an iPhone or an Android phone and you’ve ever visiting reddit.com, you know it sucks. Reddit has never been about design, but the text is so small and the layout is spaced so poorly that it’s basically impossible to use and read on a small screen. The mobile optimized version of Reddit isn’t much better. Today, that finally changes.
Reddit has completely revamped the mobile web version of its site to be absolutely usable on touch screen devices. Gone are small, virtually unclickable buttons and links — with the new version, it’s all big buttons and easy-to-read coloring.
Of course, iPhone and Android phones have been out for years, so why only make the change now? Well one reason is that they’re sick of Apple’s App Store. Ever since early 2009, Reddit has had a native iPhone app, but it hardly ever gets updated. The reason is that the teams hates the app approval process (even just for updates) and Apple’s system of control. Reddit was born as a web app, and that’s how they feel it should stay. So this new mobile web version is a return to that.
The plan is to still support the Reddit iPhone app (called iReddit), but they’re actually open sourcing it, hoping the community will help out with its continued development.
This new mobile version of Reddit is thanks in large part to Paradox Designs. Reddit actually doesn’t have an on-staff designer, so they had to outsource much of the work. But it looks very solid.
This version will work on browsers built around WebKit, the rendering engine in use in Safari, Chrome and other browsers. As Reddit notes in their post on the matter, this means it will work on most mobile browsers, but: “We apologize in advance to anyone using mobile IE. (Oh wait. No we don’t. You have no one to blame but yourself or, more likely, your employer.)“
Reddit notes that the new version is still in beta, but encourage users to test it out. Look for the new version on your iPhone/Android/iPad by going here.
Launched in 2005, Reddit is a social news website that displays news based on your personal preferences and what the community likes. Your preferences are determined based on your history of voting stories up or down. The company was started by two University of Virginia grads, Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman in the Y Combinator program. Two others, Christopher Slowe and Aaron Swartz, later joined the team. Conde Nast, owner of Wired and other magazines/websites, acquired Reddit in October of 2006....