Device detection

Device detection

Different screen sizes. Varying CPU performance. Browser compatibility conundrums. There are many reasons why your users aren't all getting the compelling experiences you planned, and why development time and costs are running away from you. It's a big problem with a simple solution: device detection.

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Why use device detection?

From smartphones, tablets, and desktops, to watches and smart TVs, consumers are using more devices than ever to interact with your brand. These people expect a smooth, instant, and personalized experience – every time, on any device.

But in this mobile-first, rich-media world, even the best responsive-designed websites and apps run into problems. Like when awkward screen sizes can't display a menu correctly. Or when older hardware takes minutes to load a page with one 10-second video ad.

When these things happen (and they do – probably more than you realize), your users get frustrated, your brand is damaged, and almost-customers slip through your fingers.

It's very sad. But it doesn't have to be. With device detection, you can graduate from a broken, one-size-fits-all approach to something more fitting for the ever-evolving digital world.

What is device detection?

What is device detection?

Device detection is a technology that recognizes the devices being used to access a website, app, or mobile network. This includes detailed information across hundreds of categories, like device model, processing power, browser type, screen resolution, and retail price, to name just a handful.

Websites and apps enhanced with device detection can make smarter decisions (in real-time) about what content to send to a given device. With greater control of your content from one device to another, you can improve experiences for your users and results for your business.

It allows you to use modern techniques such as server side unit and regression testing, image optimization, and content adaption, reducing time to market and development costs.

Here are some of the things you could use it for.

Use adaptive web design to deliver content that's perfectly tuned in to a specific device's capabilities and likely user context. For example only serve graphically intensive features to phones that can handle them.

Use lighter-weight page design for smaller, older, or cheaper devices to keep page loading speeds lightning fast. Use A/B testing to optimize processes and maximize conversion rates on every device.

Prioritise capturing the most valuable information first. On a small-screen mobile, getting the mobile number or email address initially is more important than it would be on a desktop. Armed with this information, you can at least contact them again!

Boost return-on-investment for ad campaigns with granular audience segmentation and accurate targeting based on device characteristics. Get the right creative to the right people – faster.

Use post-processing data analysis to understand exactly which devices are underperforming and why. Integrate detailed device data into your analytics tools to enhance reporting and support business decisions.

Before device detection
Before device detection

Slow, clunky, generic web experiences = a truck load of missed opportunities.

After device detection
After device detection

Fast, seamless, tailored web experiences = more rewarding interactions for everyone.

How does device detection work?

Want to give your website real-time device detection superpowers? It just takes a clever piece of API code. Here's how it works.

1

Request

Your website (or content management system) receives a user's web page request.

Alt goes here

2

Detect

The API matches the request (User-Agents, other HTTP headers, and some optional JavaScript) to a device database.

Alt goes here

Wow! That was fast and easy to follow.

3

Respond

Your website returns a page precisely optimized for the screen and capability of this user's device.

Device detection done right

Did you know that 150 new smart devices are launched every week?

In this fast-moving digital world, you need a data provider you can rely on. That's why we cut no corners to bring you the fastest and most accurate device detection service there is.

  • Blazing speed. With over 22 million detections per second, our unmatched sub-millisecond performance gives you the edge.
  • Comprehensive database. We update our unrivaled 1,444,176+ device combinations daily so you stay bang up to date.
  • Bankable accuracy. Our detection is more than 99.9% accurate, eliminating mistakes caused by default assumptions and false positives.
  • Proven track record. Over 1.5 million websites are already getting better results with 51Degrees Device Detection.
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Get more with Pipeline API

We could just give you the world's best device intelligence and leave it there. But it gets better.

  • Multiple real-time data sources in one speedy request
  • Supports most popular web frameworks and programming languages
  • Seamless switching between cloud and on-premise services
  • And much more
Explore the possibilities with Pipeline API