Shinkansen: iPhone No Go? No Mo…

None of this with the Jesus Phone

None of this with the Jesus Phone

Japan has a huge mobile network that for many users, predicates the PC’s role as superfluous.  However, that mobile network makes use of what Apple might call the ‘non-real internet’.  If your needs turn you to that ‘non-real internet your user experience is at best turbulent and sometimes laughable.  It just won’t do mobile internet with any semblance of reliability.  Even some ‘real’ internet pages don’t display correctly, becoming a choppy and unusable mess.

The age old question still remains:  what does one do when they must reserve shinkansen tickets from sites like express yoyaku?  Answer, hop on a computer or use a phone that can only access the ‘non-real internet’.

Till now, it has not been an easy task, but doable though afflicted by mobile Safari’s aloofness to the mobile internet.  The author of an intriguing blog, Yoshimasa Niwa, has released a ‘bookmarklet’ that allows iPhone users to reserve their tickets from express yoyaku which stymied the stalwart mobile Safari Mobile.  What I found in his article was the useful application of mobile Safari’s strengths to overcome its own weaknesses.  The author explains his methods here:

I sometimes use Sinkansen ticketing service named Express Yoyaku.

I think there are many guys who use this service frequently for their business or travel. We can use this ticketing service from iPhone’s Safari, but it seems crappy and the screen will be cropped suddenly.

So, I made a bookmarklet which allows you to use it more comfortable. This bookmarklet includes next features:

  • Works as a bookmark to the login screen
  • Auto filling user id and password
  • Patching the crappy screen items like bottom bar etc.

While fixes like this certainly help, it would be salvation indeed  if Apple chose to see beyond America and divine their Jesus Phone a palm-laden path to the Japanese mobile internet. Until then, prophets like Mr. Niwa will have to anoint for us sinners holy workarounds.

In the coming months, iPhone and iPod Touch users should with updates, see a stronger internet experience and at long last full real internet and non-real internet compatibility.  Concurrent to an increasing user base, solutions from adventurous users will pop up that allow the tiny internet powerhouse to fully realise its destiny in staking its market.

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