Breaking Mobile Website Compatibility Barriers In 2018
Mobile • Mobile Testing •
5954 Views | 6 Min Read
Apple has 18+ different types of smartphone devices, android has thousands. Each one a little different in their underlying technology and therefore renders a webpage a little differently. Cross Browser compatibility is not limited to desktop browsers. You need to make sure that your website is cross mobile browser compatible as well.
Mobile First Approach
When you hear the word ‘Millennial’, what’s the first image that pops into your head?
A cool hip guy/girl wearing skinny denims, face immersed in mobile phone.
The last decade has seen drastic changes, with more and more people getting access to the world wide web. The race of making device unique, has pushed the mobile companies to go to extreme ends to attract the users. The situation in 2K18 is such that mobile users have overtaken desktop users, on an average we spend more than 90 hours a month online latched onto the powerful smartphones. That’s twice the Desktop traffic.
This huge popularity of mobiles has now forced companies to think mobile first. In this approach, the websites are developed first for mobiles then onto bigger screens.
The biggest hurdle is optimization of UI and UX for mobiles. The era of buttons in mobile phones has long sailed away, screen touch is the new thing. You need to curate the website elements to provide a seamless experience for mobile browsing.
For building websites through this approach mobile devices should be the focus meanwhile keeping the content to the very core of the development.
Problems faced with Mobile Compatibility
You can never be sure as to where your users may try to reach, you have to be ready for everything. Average phones these days offer more than 1 GB RAM, which packs enough power to support the latest mobile technologies. The hardware and software modifications have made these phones equal to desktops, to some extent more as they provide additional features. To make mobile browser compatible websites requires knowledge about the features that are supported.
While designing the layout of your website you need to make sure that it must be responsive. Basically a responsive website is one which makes use of the browser resolution and adjust accordingly. This can only be achieved with perfection when kept a closed eye during the development of website. Not even the design but also the elements of the website must be scalable too i.e. they should adapt to the changing resolution.
The most prominent difference between a desktop website and a mobile website is that the mobile website is compact. To achieve this collapsible menu and widgets are used and in doing so the UI too becomes clean and sleek. Also while developing try to linearize the elements into a single column and shrinking the header.
How to make Website Responsive?
There are basically three kinds of designs.
- Fixed layout is the one which is the least or almost non responsive, certain sites are built just for the sake of protocol. These sites don’t have a lot of traffic or they don’t perform business online.
- Adaptive designs are solutions offered to make already existing website in case of less resources. These designs are specifically made to target certain kinds of browsers. This method may be implemented when you have browser specific issues that can be resolved using additional CSS queries.
Fluid designs, as the name itself indicates point to the UI elements stack like a fluid. The most trending layout makes the elements extremely adaptable to the resolution changes and in the process you can make websites responsive. The thing with this method is that you’ll need to make the website from the scratch and it will cost you.
Mobile Browser Compatible Websites and Web Apps Development Frameworks
Emerging from react, it is powerful and compact library that has extensive use in mobile related app as well as website building. The Framework gained serious popularity after being deployed by a number of websites. If you want the functionalities of react but don’t want a lot of heavy features then this is the framework to go for.
If you are dealing with old browser versions in general then this is the library to go for. It offers a wide range of solutions in order to make the site responsive by toggling different scripts.
This has a list of browsers specific scripts for executing complementing codes for CSS.
An open source toolkit adored by everyone, Bootstrap made it extremely easy for making mobile-first designs responsive. Using this tool you can uncover all the aspects of leading Front-end libraries and provide you with breathtaking themes. Read more about it in the link mentioned below.
With mobile-first approach you need to ensure that the features or the technology that you are using is supported by the mobile browser. Websites in general use a great lot of modern techniques using HTML, CSS and JS. During my research I found that mobile browsers lack support for a lot of such features.
Ogg/Theora video format
A wonderful format that is used these days for compressing videos. Certain mobile browsers like opera mini, chrome for android lack support for the same.
Custom protocol handling
It is a method for webpages to handle a given protocol using navigator.registerProtocolHandler. This allows certain URLs to be opened by a given web application.
Speech Recognition API
Giving verbal commands for the browsers also poses hurdles as most of the mobile browsers don’t support this yet.
Network Information API
The API gives web applications access to the network information, this feature is partially supported by the mobile browsers.
Full Screen API
This feature allows the video or media to take up whole screen.
Shared Web Workers
It is a method for allowing multiple scripts to communicate with a web worker.
The inevitable shift of Business onto mobile devices has started, you need to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. More mobile users will definitely profit you but only if you make your websites mobile friendly. Apart from the above mentioned features there are a lot more of CSS unsupported features that you must look out for, as they may vary with different mobile devices and browsers.
Perform comprehensive tests on your website to make it mobile compatible using LambdaTest.
And never stop perfecting, learn as much as you can.
Written by Robin Jangu
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