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Just stumbled upon your iPhone optimized site

Looking good so far. I notice that it is in beta. When does it actually go live?

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  1. Thanks fmed. It's live, but the "beta" indicates that we're not completed adding functionality. As you can see, there's no ability to post to the boards from the mobile site, nor integration with myCHOW - clearly features necessary for a full-blooded version of the site.

    We'll be working on these additions (and more!) in the upcoming weeks and months.

    emily (of CHOW.com)

    2 Replies
    1. re: 5 and Dime Eater


      How can I bypass the beta site? I don't see a way to access the common boards I like to browse (general chowhounding topics, not about food, home cooking, etc).

      I tried closing my browser and starting over but every request I make is forwarded to the qwapi.com site, with many links to "click to view hilarious videos". That's not why I'm here.


      1. re: cassiatoast

        I agree. The "Hilarious Videos" link has to go. An option to go to the "Classic" site would be good.

    2. this is pretty bad. the iphone doesn't need an optimized site. why can't i just go to new posts like i used to? can you even log in with this new interface?

      14 Replies
      1. re: tommy

        I'm sure they'll iron it all out. I do believe that iPhone and mobile devices need sites optimized for their user interface. It will make it easier to navigate and will obviate the need to constantly pan and adjust the zoom, etc. However, a link to the Classic site should be provided. This site reads and behaves well on the iphone: http://www.cbc.ca/iphone/

        1. re: fmed

          Wrong. The iPhone does not "need" a site to be optimized for its interface. Chowhound worked just fine before the new mobile version. There are some good examples of sites that have been optimized for the iPhone, but the ones I've seen all have a way to opt back into the original site if wanted.

          1. re: Shane Greenwood

            Well, I beg to disagree. Viewing the regular site on my iPhone requires me to pan and zoom unnecessarily. I do agree with your point about having link to the regular site for those who prefer it. Everyone will be happy and it is a dead-easy thing to do.

            1. re: fmed

              My point is that an optimized site is easier to use but it is not necessary. You said the iPhone needs an optimized site, which is not right. Chowhound worked fine before even though it was a little clunky due to the panning and scrolling required, but at least it worked. The new mobile version isn't useable. I'd rather have the one that works.

              1. re: Shane Greenwood

                You are correct...it doesn't "need" it. It's not absolutely necessary, but it is very cumbersome to use the regular site.

                1. re: fmed

                  Now, now, you two!!

                  For me the bottom line is, a little scrolling and zooming is not an issue. Being able to use a full functioning site is. I will always bypass an "Optimized" site if I can.

                  The current site is completely useless. I only go there to see if the problem has been fixed.


                  1. re: Davwud

                    LOL. The site is unusable currently, but I see the potential.

                    What I seek is an optimal experience on whatever platform I am viewing the site. People use mobile devices very differently compared to computers. I personally would not (for example) type up a long reply like this on an iPhone...I would wait until I get back to my laptop. I also don't expect the same content to be available on an iPhone as a regular website.

                    But that's just my me...which is why I strongly advocate a (very easy to add) link to "Chowhound Classic"...everyone will be happy. Once a well-designed iPhone version of the site is up, I will visit that instead. Right now - I agree - it is somewhat unusable....mainly due to the stale content -- I visit this site a few times a day on my laptop and find the iPhone site redundant as is.

                    1. re: fmed

                      You almost sound like you're arguing my point. It's useless. I go there to read posts. They're way out of date(time).

                      I do agree that an optimized site would be beneficial to some. I'm just talking about the current edition of Chow on a portable device is all.


                    2. re: Davwud

                      I think its funny that qwapi is so crappy. It's a good alpha but a TERRIBLE beta. It needs to go bye bye until some real functionality is restored.

                      I don't understand something... I am using an HTC Mogul (Windows Mobile 6.1) with the Opera Mobile browser.

                      Opera Mobile has an option to identify the phone as "desktop" or "mobile device". Did they leave this option out of iphone safari and other browsers people are using here?

                      Mr Taster

              2. re: Shane Greenwood

                I agree entirely. I can't access the regular boards nor "my chow" anymore. all I get is California on the regional boards. The old normal acces worked fine. I don't understand why they started f***ing around with it. One of the beauties of the iPhone is that you don't have to put up with "simplified" websites for smartphones. It can handle a regular website. so why screw around with it and make it harder and less useful.

            2. re: tommy

              have to agree with tommy, this qwapi thing is completely unusable for iphone.. if it sticks, there needs to be at least a way to go to the regular site

              pretty please

              1. re: kewlio

                I'll look into allowing users to choose versus the user agent redirects that are in use.

                1. re: 5 and Dime Eater

                  IMHO the new format is great for keeping up to date with a hound's home board, but beyond that I feel quite limited (for instance I would not be able to post to this particular forum from my iPhone). I would think a link to "Chowhound Classic" would be a great idea.

                  1. re: Food4Thought

                    I like the new format as well. I just now looked at it so I haven't had but a few minutes to play around with it but I can tell it's much easier to read posts. I didn't find where I can sign into my account and not sure if there is a "my chow" button, I couldn't find it.

                    I can't figure out how to switch boards either. Is it me or once you select a board your stuck there?

            3. Another bit of feedback

              Some of the buttons (eg the "go", "search" button) look splotchy/pixelated - maybe just use solid coloured buttons instead of resized bitmap images and banners/buttons with gradients?

              There is about a one day delay in the content (vs the regular site)

              Instead of splitting long threads into pages (eg Prev/Next Page#/Go)...why not just use a long scrollable page. It is much easier to scroll on an iPhone than paging up and down using buttons (Once again I'll reference the CBC site which handles and pages well...then have a look at the CNN iPhone site which requires tiny needle-like fingers to operate ).

              Anyway, I'm a supporter of the iPhone site as long as the visitor still has easy access to the regular site

              1. You are perhaps the only person on the planet who likes this.


                1. Chowhound is now impossible to use on the iphone. The most recent post on the Florida board is 20 hours ago. Is there any way to bypass this new qwapi site?

                  1. I don't think this is a true beta, it seems way too rough to be called that. They have a lot of work to do before this is ready for a real world test. There is no way to log in, it does not show you the most recent posts in a board, there is no way to contribute to a board (which defeats the whole point of having a board), and I'm sure there is more missing. Chowhound, I think you have a framework for something good here, but it's not useable and therefore it's not a beta.

                    3 Replies
                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          nope. The site worked perfect on my iphone prior to the change. very frustrating

                      1. The iPhone beta site, um, how do you this accurately ... it SUCKS.

                        Either fix it or get rid of it.

                        It's worse than New Coke.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I'll put you down for a "Doesn't like."


                        2. On my blackberry, I really detest the new layout and want the old one back. It was hard to navigate but I can access all the boards like I was used to.

                          Somehow on the new one, all I can see is the SF threads and even those are cut off. My favorites are the home cooking/food media and I have no idea how to navigate.

                          Is there a way to bypass and just choose to go back to the old version? This has been very upsetting.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: yankeefan

                            Ideally, whoever's working on this would flip whichever switch sends iphone users to the alpha-test site, and work on that experimental version privately until it's ready for prime time.

                            But here's the latest in a string of workarounds as we users huddle for warmth. Warning: it's real geeky: http://hackint0sh.org/forum/showpost....

                            1. re: Jim Leff

                              Thanks for chiming in, Jim... good to know you're in the trenches with us :)

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Jim Leff

                                Here's another less geeky workaround - use an 'anonymous proxy site' like: http://anonymouse.org/ or http://www.zend2.com on your iPhone. I am not sure if you can log in with your username, but you can at least view the 'classic' version of Chowhound.

                                1. re: fmed

                                  fmed, have you actually tried that? When I researched my solution, above, I was hoping a simple anon proxy site would work, but I thought I read that more elaborate steps were necessary. If you're right, this is definitely a really really good route for people to take, and I hope they see your posting.

                                  Maybe someone can try it and report back....? I don't have an iPhone myself

                                  1. re: Jim Leff

                                    It works using Anonymouse. I just tried Zend2 now and it doesn't work (it doesn't bypass the iPhone site).

                                    Here are of a couple screenshots. Anonymoused'd Chowhound and Zend2 Chowhound...

                                    1. re: fmed

                                      I Googled around for some more proxy sites to see if some more of them hide the "user agent" from the Chowhound site. (For the uninitiated, the 'user agent' is the critical piece of info that a website uses to determine which version of the site to redirect the visitor).

                                      I found this good one: http://www.proxify.com/

                                      Proxify explicitly allows you to 'hide' your user agent information so that the Chowhound site will never know you are on an iPhone. I tried logging in, but that feature is not available to the "free" version of proxify site.

                                      Here's a screenshot:

                                      1. re: fmed

                                        Does Anonymouse allow you to pick and choose which sites get your browser info and which don't?

                                        1. re: Jim Leff

                                          No. It's pretty spartan. It has an URL box and that's it.

                                          Unfortunately, logging in to Chowhound with your username doesn't work. I've tried a few times now to no avail. So it is a read-only experience - posting won't work.

                                          Hopefully, this will all be moot. A link to the regular site is a must for the mobile/iPhone site....and should be easy to do.

                              2. Please please please include a link to take you to the original site. Most mobile-optimized sites are just horrific on the iPhone, but at least they allow you to bypass and go to the main site directly. I would much rather navigate a complex site with zooming and panning than be limited to a crippled mobile version that effectively removes most of the things I go to the site for.

                                edit: Perhaps you could even take a poll of Chowhound users to see who actually even wants a mobile-specific site. So far it seems that one person in this thread likes it and the rest range from mild dislike to violent hate.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: huaqiao

                                  I personally would love to have a chowhound mobile site which is optimized for small screens, but what currently exists is ridiculous and completely removes any sort of practical usability.

                                  Jacquilyne, where are you? We seriously need to roll this back.

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    Well, specifically, I'm stranded in an airport hotel in Calgary for the next 2 days trying to get home for Christmas -- but I don't think that's what you meant ;)

                                    Unfortunately, even were I at work, I wouldn't be able to offer much info on this one. I know our Product Manager is aware of the problem, and was working on getting either rollsbacks or fixes, but unfortunately I don't have an update for you on where that stands. We're headed into our Winter Break here, so resources are a little scarce on the ground until January.

                                    Sorry about this -- I'm sure it's frustrating to see something that was sort of working be "improved" to the point that it's not really working at all. I'll try to get a status update, but I can't make any promises.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      Wow. Major botch Chowhound. Since I spend 90% of my online time on my iphone now I basically don't/can't read chowhound anymore. Hope you don't lose too many readers while the 'optimized for the iphone' site is sucking so badly.

                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                        It's been two weeks since you posted that the Product Manager was aware of the problem and working on it. Any updates? Isn't there someone at CNET who knows how to turn that horrible thing off?

                                        1. re: Shane Greenwood

                                          Sorry, I don't have an update. As I mentioned, we've all been out of the office on a break since around that time.

                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                            It was now been three weeks since you guys said you'd have the problem fixed "early next week".


                                  2. Yelp and Urban Spoon both have working iPhone versions if you need a mobile resource to look up restaurant info. Neither replaces CH for board posting, but at least they are usable and will get you some restaurant recos if you need them.

                                    Also, foodtv.com has an optimized site that works for recipes.

                                    1. Not looking good. Looking bad. Qwapi is qwappy. When I try to access chowhound from my work laptop I get redirected to the qwapi nonsense. I can access the real chowhound only from my home laptop. As a long, long-time chowhound user, I am not pleased.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Bob W

                                        "Qwapi is qwappy"

                                        Hey, you stole my line :)

                                        Mr Taster

                                      2. I just went on my IPhone and was able to get to the full site!! Yeah and thank you!!

                                        Except I can't seem to log in. I'm on my PC now to post this.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: BombayUpWithaTwist

                                          It took me a while to find the link to the regular site...it is right at the very bottom of the mobile site..."View Chow online."

                                          1. re: BombayUpWithaTwist

                                            I was unable to login from my iphone as well.

                                            1. re: poptart

                                              I too am unable to log in to the mobile site, and have not been able to since it reactivated (I was able to log in before crappy QWAPI took over the show).

                                              I am using an HTC Mogul smartphone with Opera Mobile 8.65 and Windows Mobile 6.1.

                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: poptart

                                                I also still can't login from my iphone. Hopefully, it will be fixed soon. As Mr. Taster states below, I was able to login before the qwapi site took affect.

                                            2. I just tried to log in with my iPod Touch. It actually remembered my login info and did it automatically.

                                              Good stuff


                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                Can you get to Hot Posts on your iPod Touch? If so, how?

                                                1. re: Stephanie Wong

                                                  I just hit the red chowhound button.


                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                    When using my iPod Touch and Safari, I touch the red chowhound button but "My Unread Posts/Hot Posts" doesn't drop down the way it does when I'm using a PC on IE or Firefox or an Apple using Firefox.

                                              2. Having bitched about the beta Iphone site, I have to say that it is now useable as you can switch to the regular site pretty easily. I'm still not sure why the cange in the first place, but now, we can at least opt out of the "improved" version.

                                                1. Here's the problem now with Chowhound on an iPhone: if you do a google search, and a thread on Chowhound is one of the results, and then you click on the thread, it takes you to just the mobile chow site, not the chowhound thread, and going to the regular site is just the plain chowhound site, so you've lost the thread that you were looking for completely. Is there a way to fix this? Chowhound via google is often a great resource while out and about, but this just makes it more difficult and not really worth it if you're in a hurry.

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: JasmineG

                                                    Yes, on an iPhone, every Chowhound link anywhere, including Google, brings you to the SF Board index.Here's the workaround: in the google result, click on options, then click on the cached result.

                                                    I really wish they'd send mobile users to the standard site while they work the bugs out of the mobile version.

                                                    1. re: Jim Leff

                                                      Agreed. The mobile site sux because you cannot access the boards....which is where the most valuable CH information is found.

                                                      Can't believe it's 2nd September and this still hasn't been fixed. Unless maybe I'm just a dumbazz and don't know how to use the mobile site.

                                                      CH is losing serious ground to the competition here....Yelp, etc.

                                                      1. re: chilihead2006

                                                        If you look near the top, you'll see a link to go to the standard site.


                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                          Yes. Bookmark that site on your iPhone and you can always get to this site (not the mobile version). However, when you leave Safari on to a Chowhound page for a while, and you come back to it after some time, the mobile version of the site is displayed. Just go back to your bookmark and you are back to the regular site.

                                                        2. re: chilihead2006

                                                          What is the deal with the mobile site?

                                                          -Still no ability to post.
                                                          -Lags in posting from conventional site.
                                                          -Skewed, overlapping display of text with pargraphs and hyperlinks omitted.
                                                          -As others have noted, splitting the posts across pages instead of a continuos scrolling page is probably not the best.

                                                          1. re: equinoise

                                                            Near the top you should see:

                                                            GO TO CHOW.COM WEBSITE

                                                            It's above the red bar and below the "Recipes" "Chowhound" "Restaurants & Bars" tabs.


                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                              I'm aware of that option, but ultimately I'd prefer a mobile optimized site that was actually functional. I just can't understand why it is still not that way.

                                                              1. re: equinoise

                                                                because it costs money to make it right, and the lack of functionality isn't impacting their bottom line. or they just plain don't know how.