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Handheld devices classification and browser compatibility (PDA, PPC, Smartphones

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  • wykholaen
    Hello everyone, I first posted this thread on the keitai-l list (I didn t wanted to disturb the WURFL mailing-list with such debate). But it seems that
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 2, 2005
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      Hello everyone,

      I first posted this thread on the keitai-l list (I didn't wanted to
      disturb the WURFL mailing-list with such debate).
      But it seems that client-side languages, compatibility and display
      problems do not really interest peoples there.

      It is partly related to the recent debate about is_web_browser and
      the other capability. But I'm not commenting this issue as I'm not a
      WURFL user.

      I just want (part 1) to better understand handset classification.

      But my main goal (part 2) is to answer this question :

      "Is it really possible and/or wise nowaday to make a mobile site
      without specific device-adaptation ?"

      Thank you very much for your enlightments.

      Best regards,
      Nico.

      -------- Message posted on keitai-l : -------------

      Still the old topic about phones and PDA convergence ...


      1) My understanding about device convergence : Mobile phone > hybrids
      < PDA

      Under the hybrid word, I saw many definitions ...

      Some call any hybrids "smartphones".
      Some (and that's what I was thinking) consider smartphones are mainly
      phones with some PDA functionalities (as opposed to PDA with
      GSM/GPRS/WIFI connectivity).
      Other thinks, smartphones are just in the middle, between Phone-PDA
      and PDA-phones.

      Hybrids families are often classified by :

      > Brand :
      iPaq
      SPV
      Blackberry
      Treo
      Tungsten
      CliƩ

      > O.S / plateform :
      Linux
      Palm
      Symbian
      BREW
      Windows Mobile
      RIM

      (complete if I missed some)

      And of course, any classification attempt is based on particular
      characteristics (thumb use vs touch screen, small/large display,
      horizontal vs vertical device ...) but they all have exceptions.

      So basically, the only definition I am sure of is the "mobile phone"
      one :o).

      (Good question -> "What is a PDA anyway ?"
      :http://www.rohdesign.com/weblog/archives/000247.html)


      2) My target : Connected-colour-handheld-html-devices

      Answering to the above question is interesting, but I'm not sure such
      a debate could lead anywhere.

      So here is my "use case" :

      On one hand I have an i-mode/wap1.2/wap2 (iHTML/WML/xHTML) site. The
      display is device-oriented, using a content adaptation plateform.

      On another hand I have a website. Without device specific adaptation
      (or maybe a few browser-oriented adaptation). With a lot more
      functionalities, graphics, and content.

      Between, I wish to make a site, for mobile device with nice graphical
      capacities, large screen, etc... without (or few) adaptation.


      So basically my main questions are :

      -> Which handset category should I target ? And how to name this
      category when communicating about it ?

      -> Which O.S/browser should I target to get a good compromise between
      capability/compatibility and large audience ?

      -> Which client-side language should I choose (for the same reason) ?
      I think xHTML MP + wCSS would be the best choice.

      Any recent study, figures, PDA browsers list would help me much.

      Bonus questions :
      - How about javascript support on these devices ?
      - And Flash ?


      Thank you in advance for your input on this complicated subject.


      Regards,

      Nico.
    • Darren Luckett
      hello, you mention below that your mobile site uses content (and markup?) adaptation. Can you not extend its functionality to include pdas? i received a
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 2, 2005
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        hello,

        you mention below that your mobile site uses content (and markup?)
        adaptation. Can you not extend its functionality to include pdas?

        i received a similar query from another user in Japan about delivering
        to smartphones and pdas wile maintaining a mobile site. the best answer
        is wurfl and wall. there isn't really another viable and free solution
        that encompasses the scope of device characteristics.

        wurfl doesn't divide devices into groups; say pda, wap, imode, etc. it
        does however make available plenty of device info.

        probably the best example of content adaptation i can think of at the
        moment is Lucas cool menu function, which is part of WALL.
        see
        http://wurfl.sourceforge.net/java/coolmenu.php for docs

        and

        http://www.dlade.net/wall/wall/coolmenu.jsp

        once you grasp the concept of collmenus, you can apply it to any sort
        of page.

        darren

        wykholaen wrote:

        >Hello everyone,
        >
        >I first posted this thread on the keitai-l list (I didn't wanted to
        >disturb the WURFL mailing-list with such debate).
        >But it seems that client-side languages, compatibility and display
        >problems do not really interest peoples there.
        >
        >It is partly related to the recent debate about is_web_browser and
        >the other capability. But I'm not commenting this issue as I'm not a
        >WURFL user.
        >
        >I just want (part 1) to better understand handset classification.
        >
        >But my main goal (part 2) is to answer this question :
        >
        >"Is it really possible and/or wise nowaday to make a mobile site
        >without specific device-adaptation ?"
        >
        >Thank you very much for your enlightments.
        >
        >Best regards,
        >Nico.
        >
        >-------- Message posted on keitai-l : -------------
        >
        >Still the old topic about phones and PDA convergence ...
        >
        >
        >1) My understanding about device convergence : Mobile phone > hybrids
        >< PDA
        >
        >Under the hybrid word, I saw many definitions ...
        >
        >Some call any hybrids "smartphones".
        >Some (and that's what I was thinking) consider smartphones are mainly
        >phones with some PDA functionalities (as opposed to PDA with
        >GSM/GPRS/WIFI connectivity).
        >Other thinks, smartphones are just in the middle, between Phone-PDA
        >and PDA-phones.
        >
        >Hybrids families are often classified by :
        >
        > > Brand :
        > iPaq
        > SPV
        > Blackberry
        > Treo
        > Tungsten
        > CliƩ
        >
        > > O.S / plateform :
        > Linux
        > Palm
        > Symbian
        > BREW
        > Windows Mobile
        > RIM
        >
        >(complete if I missed some)
        >
        >And of course, any classification attempt is based on particular
        >characteristics (thumb use vs touch screen, small/large display,
        >horizontal vs vertical device ...) but they all have exceptions.
        >
        >So basically, the only definition I am sure of is the "mobile phone"
        >one :o).
        >
        >(Good question -> "What is a PDA anyway ?"
        >:http://www.rohdesign.com/weblog/archives/000247.html)
        >
        >
        >2) My target : Connected-colour-handheld-html-devices
        >
        >Answering to the above question is interesting, but I'm not sure such
        >a debate could lead anywhere.
        >
        >So here is my "use case" :
        >
        >On one hand I have an i-mode/wap1.2/wap2 (iHTML/WML/xHTML) site. The
        >display is device-oriented, using a content adaptation plateform.
        >
        >On another hand I have a website. Without device specific adaptation
        >(or maybe a few browser-oriented adaptation). With a lot more
        >functionalities, graphics, and content.
        >
        >Between, I wish to make a site, for mobile device with nice graphical
        >capacities, large screen, etc... without (or few) adaptation.
        >
        >
        >So basically my main questions are :
        >
        >-> Which handset category should I target ? And how to name this
        >category when communicating about it ?
        >
        >-> Which O.S/browser should I target to get a good compromise between
        >capability/compatibility and large audience ?
        >
        >-> Which client-side language should I choose (for the same reason) ?
        >I think xHTML MP + wCSS would be the best choice.
        >
        >Any recent study, figures, PDA browsers list would help me much.
        >
        >Bonus questions :
        >- How about javascript support on these devices ?
        >- And Flash ?
        >
        >
        >Thank you in advance for your input on this complicated subject.
        >
        >
        >Regards,
        >
        >Nico.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Please read the FAQ before you ask questions: http://www.thewirelessfaq.com
        >
        >Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wmlprogramming for archive and subscription options
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • wykholaen
        Hi Darren, To give you more details, the mobile site will support these devices too (we use our own adaptation plateform), but is only available in France for
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 2, 2005
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          Hi Darren,

          To give you more details, the mobile site will support these devices
          too (we use our own adaptation plateform), but is only available in
          France for now.

          - We do not have yet a worlwide handset database (mainly french and
          western europe).
          - We make mobile sites on officials operators portals.

          --> Our customer, is an international brand. We will deploy their
          mobile site in europe, country by country.

          While we do that, they also asked for another site, more targetted to
          devices with large screen, more web-oriented (and for business
          oriented users). It would be a worlwide site, available from the same
          URL than the website.

          So I told them :
          1) That they didn't really knew which devices they were talking
          about. And now I wonder .. who knows exactly ?

          2) That, some handsets (those with pocket IE for example) might be
          good enough to support a version without multi-device
          adaptation. "some handset ..." how much exactly ?

          So I'm trying to check if this is really a good idea.. but I haven't
          got many experience of the mobile browsers for such devices (pocket
          IE, blazer, opera, minimo ?, ... ???).


          Cheers,
          Nico.

          --- In wmlprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Darren Luckett
          <chubloodychu@y...> wrote:
          > hello,
          >
          > you mention below that your mobile site uses content (and markup?)
          > adaptation. Can you not extend its functionality to include pdas?
          >
          > i received a similar query from another user in Japan about
          delivering
          > to smartphones and pdas wile maintaining a mobile site. the best
          answer
          > is wurfl and wall. there isn't really another viable and free
          solution
          > that encompasses the scope of device characteristics.
          >
          > wurfl doesn't divide devices into groups; say pda, wap, imode, etc.
          it
          > does however make available plenty of device info.
          >
          > probably the best example of content adaptation i can think of at
          the
          > moment is Lucas cool menu function, which is part of WALL.
          > see
          > http://wurfl.sourceforge.net/java/coolmenu.php for docs
          >
          > and
          >
          > http://www.dlade.net/wall/wall/coolmenu.jsp
          >
          > once you grasp the concept of collmenus, you can apply it to any
          sort
          > of page.
          >
          > darren
        • Andrea Trasatti
          ... Hello Nico, it is in some way sad or rather demoralizing, but what Darren told you is correct. As you have already noted there are many devices that are
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 3, 2005
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            Il giorno 02/mar/05, alle 18:47, wykholaen ha scritto:

            > To give you more details, the mobile site will support these devices
            > too (we use our own adaptation plateform), but is only available in
            > France for now.
            >
            > - We do not have yet a worlwide handset database (mainly french and
            > western europe).
            > - We make mobile sites on officials operators portals.
            >
            > --> Our customer, is an international brand. We will deploy their
            > mobile site in europe, country by country.
            >
            > While we do that, they also asked for another site, more targetted to
            > devices with large screen, more web-oriented (and for business
            > oriented users). It would be a worlwide site, available from the same
            > URL than the website.
            >
            > So I told them :
            > 1) That they didn't really knew which devices they were talking
            > about. And now I wonder .. who knows exactly ?
            >
            > 2) That, some handsets (those with pocket IE for example) might be
            > good enough to support a version without multi-device
            > adaptation. "some handset ..." how much exactly ?
            >
            > So I'm trying to check if this is really a good idea.. but I haven't
            > got many experience of the mobile browsers for such devices (pocket
            > IE, blazer, opera, minimo ?, ... ???).

            Hello Nico,
            it is in some way sad or rather demoralizing, but what Darren told you
            is correct. As you have already noted there are many "devices" that are
            exactly on the edge between being a phone, a smartphone, a PDA, etc.
            There isn't an "official rule" that tells you if a P800 is a phone, a
            smartphone or a PDA.

            The common interpretation is:
            phone = makes phones calls. Recent phones support some multimedia. Have
            basic contacts and calendar
            smartphone = a phone with "cool contact", "cool calendar", PC sync, big
            screen, multimedia and generally an OS such as symbian
            PDA = it's a PDA that ALSO has telephony

            So the difference between smartphone and PDA is the main target of the
            device. You should ask yourself: is it a phone with some PDA functions
            or a PDA with some telephony functions?


            Said this, unfortunately, answering the above question does not solve
            your problem. IMO you don't care much if the device is a PDA, a
            smartphone, a phone or a web browser. Your problem is deciding which
            markup and what "features" you want to provide to the device and thus
            to the user. By features I mean tables, frames, forms, flash,
            macromedia, java applet, etc, etc.

            Darren suggested you a good comprimes. WALL+WURFL gives you all the
            content adaptation in one product.

            On the other side you might want to provide a cool fully featured web
            site to browsers on desktop PC's, in this case you will need a separate
            site since WALL is mainly aimed to "mobile devices" and not desktop
            PC's. Contents generated by WALL can be seen on a desktop PC but we all
            agree that a site thought be be visited by a mobile device will appear
            poor on a PC.

            IMO MSIE for pocket PC, Opera for smartphones, minimo, the new Nokia
            browser with HTML support, they all fall in the big category of MOBILE
            DEVICES. Yes, they might have a bigger screen, they might support
            frames, but in the end you still have a screen that will not be much
            bigger than 250x250 and you can't compare it with a browser on a
            desktop PC.

            You're not getting a final answer from these emails, but I hope this
            can clear your mind. You still don't have it clear? Hire us as
            consultants, there are many on the list who would be very happy work
            with you!

            - Andrea
          • Marcus Fi
            The important question is not whether the device is a PDA with phone functionality or a phone with PDA functionality. Consider the Amoi clamshell Pocket PC
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 8, 2005
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              The important question is not whether the device is a PDA with phone
              functionality or a phone with PDA functionality. Consider the Amoi
              clamshell Pocket PC phone
              (http://www.mobiletechreview.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Board=news&Number=19469).
              It is very hard to "group" it as either a PDA or a smartphone.

              From multichannel (anything from a cellphone to a desktop pc)
              development perspective, we think the most important issue is 1)
              screen resolution and max_image_resolution (which Wurfl takes care
              of), 2) preferred_markup (Wurfl) and 3) whether the user agent is a
              desktop web browser.

              Of course, you can derive 3) out of 1) and 2), by defining that
              anything over 640x480 is web support. But for 3), a capability named
              "is_web_browser" would have been fine.

              br,
              Marcus



              > So the difference between smartphone and PDA is the main target of the
              > device. You should ask yourself: is it a phone with some PDA functions
              > or a PDA with some telephony functions?
              >
              > Said this, unfortunately, answering the above question does not solve
              > your problem. IMO you don't care much if the device is a PDA, a
              > smartphone, a phone or a web browser. Your problem is deciding which
              > markup and what "features" you want to provide to the device and thus
              > to the user. By features I mean tables, frames, forms, flash,
              > macromedia, java applet, etc, etc.
              >
              > Darren suggested you a good comprimes. WALL+WURFL gives you all the
              > content adaptation in one product.
              >
              > On the other side you might want to provide a cool fully featured web
              > site to browsers on desktop PC's, in this case you will need a separate
              > site since WALL is mainly aimed to "mobile devices" and not desktop
              > PC's. Contents generated by WALL can be seen on a desktop PC but we all
              > agree that a site thought be be visited by a mobile device will appear
              > poor on a PC.
              >
              > IMO MSIE for pocket PC, Opera for smartphones, minimo, the new Nokia
              > browser with HTML support, they all fall in the big category of MOBILE
              > DEVICES. Yes, they might have a bigger screen, they might support
              > frames, but in the end you still have a screen that will not be much
              > bigger than 250x250 and you can't compare it with a browser on a
              > desktop PC.
              >
              > You're not getting a final answer from these emails, but I hope this
              > can clear your mind. You still don't have it clear? Hire us as
              > consultants, there are many on the list who would be very happy work
              > with you!
              >
              > - Andrea
              >
              >
              > Please read the FAQ before you ask questions: http://www.thewirelessfaq.com
              >
              > Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wmlprogramming for archive and subscription options
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Luca Passani
              ... didn t we already explain that device_claims_web_support is the same? Luca
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 8, 2005
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                Marcus Fi wrote:

                >Of course, you can derive 3) out of 1) and 2), by defining that
                >anything over 640x480 is web support. But for 3), a capability named
                >"is_web_browser" would have been fine.
                >
                >
                didn't we already explain that "device_claims_web_support" is the same?

                Luca
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