links for 2009-06-12

  • more mobile development resources
  • Device detection is the first step in performing content adaptation. Here we cover lightweight device detection using classic ASP (VBScript). It is a simple script which will detect most mobile browsers. However, if you need more information about the properties of the device such as screen width and height, image format support etc. so that you can tailor your content to specific devices, then you need something more than this. In this case you should consider using a full device properties database such as DeviceAtlas.

    This script attempts to match the requesting UA string against about 90 well-known mobile browser UA string snippets, and a couple of special cases. It also checks some of the other HTTP headers for hints that the client is mobile.

    If you simply need to decide if the client is a mobile or desktop browser, then this script is for you! If you need to know more about a requesting device, try DeviceAtlas. Improvements and suggestions are very welcome.

  • With new advances in hardware like the iPhone and other web-enabled phones (aren't they all these days?) it is becoming more and more crucial to offer mobile-friendly versions of your websites. You have pretty much two options here: assume that website visitors will get what they need from their sub-standard mobile browsers if they want it bad enough, or make it easier for them to access your website.

    The advantages with this last option are clear. Just like any website, the easier the user can access the information, the better your results will be. In a world where competition is increasing all the time, this is especially vital. You want to make sure they get your message clearly and easily.

  • Many retailers, including Amazon, offer mobile specific URL’s using established mobile “standards”, such as:

    • m.amazon.com
    • amazon.mobi

    However, most users by habit and convenience, simply type in the name of the .com site in their browser, such as www.amazon.com, or simply amazon.com.

    If you want customers to easily find your mobile site, then you want to automatically detect mobile traffic on your main site and present a mobile experience by default– as Amazon does.

    Today, odds are, if you are like all the sites we have worked with, you already are receiving mobile traffic. But with no mobile support, and no automatic mobile device detection, you’re effectively displaying a ‘Closed for Business’ sign and potentially driving your customers to competitors.

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