Here’s what’s new in mobile Web compatibility this week.
Site testing and outreach
A little while back I submitted a request to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) to recognize Firefox for Android and redirect our users to their mobile site. (That’s m.imdb.com for those playing along.) Other than the redirect, my experience has been excellent with IMDB mobile on Firefox. Good news. IMDB informed me this week that the site will be updated to recognize Firefox for Android by mid Aug. I’ll update again once the fix is in place.
Christian Heilmann spoke with the JQuery Mobile team and I’m pleased to report that their 1.2.0 alpha announcement includes support for Firefox for Android as an A grade testing platform.
Alex Keybl announced this week that Firefox OS will ship on Gecko 17. This means changes to the platform in support of mobile Web compatibility (layout, DOM, performance) should land before Aug. 27, when Gecko 17 uplifts to Aurora.
The new Firefox OS user agent (UA) that I wrote about last week has landed. Matt Brubeck has added this UA to his Phony add-on for Firefox for Android, which should be updated on AMO shortly. If you haven’t used Phony, it is an add-on that let’s you switch the UA that Firefox sends to sites. This tool can be very helpful when diagnosing mobile Web compatibility problems.
Aaron Train ran a screenshot analysis of 27 sites using the Firefox for Android UA and the Firefox OS UA with Firefox for Android. This small test set shows differences in site content in 62% (16/26) sites. (Amazon was inconclusive as the site test didn’t load with the Firefox OS UA.) While hardly a comprehensive study, it does appear as though the omission of the “Android” token in the UA string does result in significantly more desktop content being served to Firefox OS.
Firefox tablet UA
Gerv started a discussion on the dev-platform list this week about whether the Firefox for Android tablet UA should follow the Internet Explorer 10 model and use “Touch” instead of “Tablet”. Most of the response to this point resides in the “no” camp, but head on over and have your say. You can also follow along in bug 773355.