OpenTable Offers Al Fresco Access
If any Web site ought to work on an Internet-enabled mobile phone, it should be one built specifically to get you out of your home and office and on your way to a nice restaurant.
But until yesterday, OpenTable only offered a version for full-size browsing, meaning anybody without an iPhone was pretty much out of luck if they wanted to book a reservation on the go. The San Francisco-based firm remedied that oversight, announcing a new mobile-phone edition available at mobile.opentable.com (which I hope will soon be reachable at the shorter address m.opentable.com).
This site works a little differently from other mobile-phone editions of popular Web sites: It doesn't require you to log into your account. You only need to provide your name, phone number and e-mail address (the site remembers them afterwards), and as long as that data matches the info in your OpenTable account, you'll see the reservation show up when you log into the full site.
A short tech-support page offers answers to some common questions about the new mobile site, but not this one: Why did the company wait until the middle of 2008 to add such a seemingly obvious feature?
Scott Jampol, OpenTable's senior director of consumer marketing, wrote in an e-mail that it had been developing the mobile site "over the last year or so," in response to user requests and because cell phones had gotten better. He wrote that the firm had held off earlier after an unsatisfactory experience developing a mobile application back in 2000 after it had seen other companies fail to get much from mobile-Web applications.
With OpenTable's new phone-friendly site, I can't think of too many other sites that I'm waiting to see migrate to the mobile Web. What about you? What sites would you use on your phone if only you could?
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