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Published on Monday, April 2, 2012

51Degrees.mobi implements W3C and Facebook Ringmark browser tests

51Degrees.mobi has become the first device detection business to implement Ringmark in its free-for-commercial-use and paid-for premium data sets. This ground-breaking move makes it easier for developers to create mobile web sites that are tailored to the precise needs of online visitors.

Ringmark is the mobile browser test process introduced at Mobile World Congress 2012 by Facebook. It’s designed to help developers learn more about each mobile web visitor without requiring visitors to provide any personal details. Coremob, the Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is eventually expected to be handed control of the project.

At the moment, a mobile web developer doesn’t know what each visiting mobile phone or browser can do. They can build a simple site that’ll work on even the most basic phone, they can produce a more sophisticated site that probably won’t function on non-smartphones, or they can create a flexible mobile website that works on a range of devices... but this requires much more time and specialised skills.

51Degrees.mobi with Ringmark information can be used by developers to design targeted mobile sites. For example; compatible phones could take photos and send them straight to a website without saving them on the device – but incompatible phones wouldn’t be given this option. Customers only see the options that are relevant to their specific phone.

51Degrees.mobi has been committed to the principle of ‘device detection’ since the business was launched three years ago. It’s including over 40 new browser properties identified by Ringmark tests into the latest versions of its ‘Premium’ and its free ‘Lite’ device data products. These data sets are available for download today, making 51Degrees.mobi the first device detection business to integrate Ringmark with both its free and its chargeable services.

Unlike other services there’s no reliance on a cloud service or complex additional software. The 1MB device data file is simply uploaded to the web server, providing fast responses for end users and reducing the amount of programming time for developers. It’s a future-proof solution that’s simpler to learn than many other mobile web development techniques.

James Rosewell, CEO of 51Degrees.mobi, described what this meant to mobile developers. “Programmers and developers can now turn an existing web site into a mobile web site quickly and easily. The web site can identify the type of mobile device that’s visiting and what browser technologies it works with before adapting itself for each visitor. Results are fast and accurate, which is good news for web site owners and good news for their customers.”

The free ‘Lite’ data from 51Degrees.mobi identifies whether a device is a mobile phone and confirms the screen size in pixels as well as providing access to over 40 browser properties. Premium device data from 51Degrees.mobi offers all this along with information about input methods, physical screen size, software and browser type; a total of 100 properties updated weekly.

Both sets of data can be downloaded from http://51degrees.mobi

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James Rosewell

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