One of my favorite sources of active mining is that of Peter-Paul Koch digging in to mobile browsers and how they behave. Sponsored by Vodaphone to do a study of various mobile devices and their respective browsers, PPK has been doing some serious analysis of what the landscape looks like.
Armed with a battery of tests he analyzes the various browsers manually (a painstaking task) but it yields some sweet fruit:
He breaks down the results into three areas (note: The results are very much still a work in progress, as noted by PPK, so please be aware of that before making any specific decisions on implementation or usability):
- Mobile CSS – Covering everything from CSS selectors (new and old) along with basic and advanced styling techniques.
- Mobile W3C CSSOM – Covers aspects like screen size, mouse position, document size, and scroll offset.
In general, the results are terribly painful. The majority of the devices and browsers available today are a complete mess. Thankfully smart devices are making solid inroads bringing along good-quality browsers (WebKit-based browsers and Opera Mobile) but it’s going to be a while before those devices are widely available.
Peter-Paul gave two follow-up talks on mobile browser testing, at Google and at Yahoo, that are worth watching, for additional details.
Google Talk on Mobile Browsers
Yahoo Talk (also discusses mobile browsers)
PPK is also organizing the Fronteers conference, taking place this fall in Amsterdam. I plan on attending and speaking, as well.
Mardeg (May 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm)
Looking forward to seeing Fennec on those tables
tep (May 20, 2009 at 2:17 am)
hi john & everybody,
i am working on mobile version of a web site but have a serious problems with cookies :(
netfront browser is running on my mobile phone and while facebook & gmail storing userid & password properly i could not !
is there any exact solution for auto sign in with cookies or something else ?
Andrea Giammarchi (May 20, 2009 at 3:15 am)
John, I wonder if this interest is caused by an mQuery idea :-)
Manrique (May 20, 2009 at 3:20 am)
W3C has created a “Web Compatibility Test for Mobile Browsers (WCTMB)”, and more are coming:
Valentino (May 20, 2009 at 6:51 am)
mobiles have a great disadvantage: in most cases, you can’t change your browser just downloading a software
Richard Fink (May 20, 2009 at 6:52 pm)
Thanks for this heads-up. PPK is a good analyst.
Cameron Moll – blog: AuthenticBoredom – has also done quite a bit of research into mobile browsers, but with a focus more on design.
In fact he’s written a book titled Mobile Web Design available in pdf.
Well worth checking out.
Phil Dokas (May 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm)
But what about Courier for the Newton?
Phil Dokas (May 27, 2009 at 1:53 pm)
Because of course, the Newton never dies, it only gets new batteries :D
Billigflug (July 5, 2009 at 7:47 pm)
Mobile Browsers are much 2 small .. u cant read anything on it
Haim Michael (July 20, 2009 at 1:28 am)
Thanks for this important post. The mobile browsers sures are the future…. more of my thoughts about this issue can be found at http://www.lifemichael.com/en/?p=170. Best, Haim.