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  1. #1
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    mobile cross-browser issues...

    I discovered to my horror the other day that our cross-browser problems are not over on mobile devices..

    was testing my site on a friend's Windows phone and found it didn't support the <details> tag... then a few days later found same thing on an Android phone, it does not support the <details> tag either... and I thought all mobile devices supported all HTML5 tags.. man, what was I thinking? so is there a reference somewhere of what mobile devices support what HTML5 tags?

    here, http://www.w3schools.com/html5/tag_details.asp
    they say what browsers support the <details> tag, but this only refers to regular browsers, not mobile browsers right? (or am I wrong?)
    I never paid much attention b/c was developing for just mobile, and I just automatically assumed all mobile browsers supported all HTML5 tags.. oh brother...

    so is there a place where I can look up what mobile devices support what HTML5 tags?

    thank you..

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    You can check the caniuse site:

    http://caniuse.com/#feat=details

    Remember that HTML5 is still on the drawing board, so suport for new elements is pretty random and not guaranteed. And many of those elements are changing and the spec is fully worked out. I really don't see the point of using much of it at this stage, as you can provide a perfectly adequate website with HTML4.

  3. #3
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    oh brother..... so how do I find out what tags are supported by what mobile devices/browsers?

    thank you....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by maya90 View Post
    how do I find out what tags are supported by what mobile devices/browsers?
    This site I linked to shows support for HTML5 elements on Android, iOS, Opera Mini and Blackberry, which is a good start.

  5. #5
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    oh thanks... I had missed that...

  6. #6
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    It's also worth remembering that whether a feature is supported by current browsers is not the same as whether it is supported by browsers currently in use. Because mobile browsers are commonly tied in with the phone's OS, people tend not to upgrade them – unlike PCs where auto-update is now the norm, and so you can expect the majority of people to have a reasonably recent release. A lot of people will keep their mobiles for 2 years or even longer, and (with Android in particular) phones being sold new don't always have the latest version anyway.

    If you hover over each cell, it shows you the proportion of global usage that that browser version has. Looking at Android Browser, although the "current" version (4.0) does support the <details> tag, the previous versions don't, and they account for 8 times more users than 4.0. As there are phone still being sold new running 2.3, that isn't a great surprise. (Although what is a surprise is that those phones are still being sold new. It's a rubbish OS!)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    [font=verdana] It's a rubbish OS!
    Do you mean the old version of Android, or all versions? Either way, why do you say that? (I'm impartial, BTW. I don't use it.)

  8. #8
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Do you mean the old version of Android, or all versions? Either way, why do you say that? (I'm impartial, BTW. I don't use it.)
    I mean v2.3. I picked up a new Samsung phone two days ago to replace my 2-year-old Nokia (which was the cheapest and most basic smartphone available when I got it). After a couple of hours I gave up and put the SIM card back in my old phone. Now the only decision is whether to try to change it for a replacement, argue for a better deal or to put the Samsung handset on eBay...

    Why don't I like it? Firstly because it forces you to register a Gmail account, which I don't want (I already have a Google account, I don't want Gmail, and I don't want it to force my Google account to use a Gmail address that I don't want as its primary email with no option to switch). Secondly because the contacts folder is less capable than I had on my Nokia Brick in 2005 - one number per short name and nothing else – whereas my Nokia has a full address book, multiple numbers, long names, you name it. And it can play different ringtones or show pictures when each person calls. Thirdly because there doesn't seem to be any obvious way to sync it via my PC or to access the phone memory/memory card from my PC. Which means a lot more work to access music/podcasts and pictures that I've already got. If it can even play them, but I lost interest before even getting that far. Fourthly, it has such limited 'profile' options, I want more than just noise/silent, I want to be able to have 'normal', 'quiet but vibrate', 'quiet but no vibrate', 'no noise at all' and to be able to access them all quickly. Fifthly, it doesn't support multitasking – one app running and that's it. Sixthly, the one app (apart from Opera Mobile) that I do use has been totally emasculated and has lost a load of functions that I consider essential. Seventhly, I don't like the threaded conversations for text messages, I want to see all messages separately – maybe that's just the control freak in me, but it's how I like to manage my messages. I hate the way Facebook lists every message you've exchanged with someone in the last six years for the same reason. Eighthly, I really don't get on with the text input methods. The QWERTY keyboard is too small and fiddly (not helped by the screen being finger-sensitive rather than touch-sensitive, I much prefer the precision (and lack of grease) of a fingernail or a plectrum to a big fat fingertip) but in numeric mode, the predictive text I find unhelpful and confusing, the routes for capitalisation, numbers and symbols is awkward, and the whole thing just makes writing the simplest of messages into a tedious chore.

    I think that some of those – like the contacts issue – have been fixed in 4.0, but equally I'm certain that others are endemic to the Android setup and can't/won't ever change.

    Here endeth the rant.

    For the moment.

  9. #9
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    But other than those things, it's OK, right?

  10. #10
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    But other than those things, it's OK, right?
    Well, you did ask!

  11. #11
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Remember, on the Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) it is running on IE9, so what IE9 supports the Windows Phone supports. There are only a few differences between the two. http://ubelly.com/?p=12022

    Probably the biggest trip up is that it will not download fonts, with good reason. So if you are dependent on a certain font being used well...

    Once Windows 8 is released, Windows Phone should be getting IE10 shortly there after as well.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    Remember, on the Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) it is running on IE9, so what IE9 supports the Windows Phone supports. There are only a few differences between the two. http://ubelly.com/?p=12022

    Probably the biggest trip up is that it will not download fonts, with good reason. So if you are dependent on a certain font being used well...

    Once Windows 8 is released, Windows Phone should be getting IE10 shortly there after as well.
    I don't agree at all. If you don't test your sites on a real Windows Phone device, don't expect it to be much good.

    I have come across so many little issues where WP7.5 has caused problems (and all mobile devices). I now pass a 'mobile-os' value to JS based from my PHP-based detection script, and often I need to exclude certain OS's from using a certain script.

    Windows Phone 7.5 is ok, but you've got to test on a real device.

    Also, people using simulators don't realise that the simulator won't usually (some do) simulate hardware capability. Even a five-year old Windows PC will have better hardware capabilities than many mobiles. If the simulator shows a jQuery-enhanced website running nice and quick then that doesn't mean a 1-year old mobile phone will do the same. In fact, even brand new devices can struggle (maybe not iPhone or the top of the range Samsung devices though).

    I own about 15 devices, and trust me, there is such a difference with CSS support, JS support and as to their ability with jQuery that you need to test on as many as possible. I have purchased these devices over the years as and when a suitable one becomes available at a reasonable price.

  13. #13
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    One thing that I'm struggling to understand, having recently changed to a Windows Mobile, is why it chooses to show some text massively bigger than other text, making many sites without a mobile.css, including this one, really confusing and awkward. Having said that mobiles were getting better at interpreting CSS, and didn't need separate stylesheets, I'm starting to change my mind on that.

  14. #14
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevie D View Post
    why it chooses to show some text massively bigger than other text
    Even the iPhone seems to do that for me unless the site is set to -webkit-text-size-adjust: none; .


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