mobile Archives - Broken Links Archive

Innovation in Mobile Browsers, and the iPhone

Last week I wield­ed the mighty pow­er of Twit­ter to say this:

If you use an iPhone I feel a bit sor­ry for you, because you’re miss­ing out on the real­ly inno­v­a­tive stuff hap­pen­ing in mobile browsers.

A few peo­ple asked me what I meant by that, per­haps think­ing that I was crit­i­cis­ing iPhones in gen­er­al (I wasn’t[1]), so I want to take a moment to elab­o­rate on my state­ment. To do that, I’ll begin with a story.

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Mobile Browsing Around The World

I find it fas­ci­nat­ing to see the vari­ance in brows­er use in the diverse regions of the world, and nowhere is that vari­ance more appar­ent than in mobile web browsers. While in the West we may be used to Chrome and Safari being more or less the only game in town, else­where in the world the sto­ry is quite dif­fer­ent. In this arti­cle I’m going to take a look at a few charts which illus­trate that difference.

The stats used here are col­lect­ed from the 30 days pri­or to 25th August, tak­en from They come with the usu­al dis­claimer about the impos­si­bil­i­ty of get­ting com­plete­ly accu­rate data, and don’t always include fea­ture phone browsers, so should there­fore be treat­ed as indica­tive rather than con­clu­sive. With the caveats out of the way, let’s begin.

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Some stats on OS and browser share

Last week on Twit­ter I shared some brows­er and OS sta­tis­tics from a site I man­age. These turned out to be quite pop­u­lar, so I’ve decid­ed to expand on them a lit­tle fur­ther, and also add the stats from anoth­er site I man­age, to broad­en the base num­bers a lit­tle. I’m not try­ing to make any point here, just shar­ing a lit­tle bit of ana­lyt­ics data. If there’s any inter­est in my doing so, I’ll pro­vide fur­ther updates in the future; leave a com­ment if there’s any­thing in par­tic­u­lar you’d like to know.

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On Internet Explorer and Microsoft

I’m not a blind Microsoft-bash­er, nei­ther am I an MS fan­boy (in fact, I think the whole idea of align­ing your­self with any sin­gle tech­nol­o­gy or brand is pret­ty nar­row-mind­ed). I think MS do some things well, and some things poor­ly. I am going to have a bit of a pop at them at the end of this arti­cle, but I’m going to start by defend­ing them.

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Encoding Video for Android

In my pre­vi­ous post, Mak­ing HTML5 Video work on Android phones, I said that you have to encode your videos as .m4v in order for them to work in Android. This isn’t actu­al­ly cor­rect. The suf­fix can be either .mp4 or .m4v, what mat­ters is the way the video is encoded.

Now, there are loads of blog and forum posts which give dif­fer­ing advice on pre­sets and para­me­ters, and I’m no expert — so what I’ll do is just show you two quick ways that worked for me (I have a Sam­sung Galaxy S).

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Making HTML5 Video work on Android phones

I recent­ly became the own­er of an Android phone* and found that, despite it being list­ed as a fea­ture of the brows­er, the HTML5 video ele­ment did­n’t work for almost all of the exam­ples I tried. I’ve just done some exper­i­men­ta­tion with this and think I’ve found a solu­tion, so this post is offered in the hope that it helps any­one who may be tear­ing their hair out over the same problem.

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I’ve updat­ed my Speak­ing page to include more con­fer­ences, more videos, and a lit­tle on my speak­ing require­ments and pref­er­ences. I’m plan­ning to cut down on the num­ber of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to inter­est­ing offers and oppor­tu­ni­ties, so please get in touch if you’re organ­is­ing an event.

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