Service worker cog

Safari service workers and other PWA good news stories

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in on the state of Progressive Web Apps, there’s much to talk about. Here’s a whirlwind update of the major PWA news over the past few months. 1. Service workers support in Safari Probably the biggest news in PWA land is that during August the status of Service...

Notch cake

iPhone X notch advice for web developers

We’ve arrived at a new era of edge-to-edge, bezel-less phone screens. The trend toward smaller bezels has been coming for some time now, but a (perhaps unexpected) side-effect is the notch! The Essential notch While most people may be aware of the new iPhone X’s sensor housing, aka notch, it’s less well known that Apple...

The mobile video revolution: are you ready?

Ever since the first TV made its debut in the mid 1920s, the human race has been having a love affair with moving pictures. Since then we’ve witnessed an evolution from linear, tune-in-or-miss-out programming, to video-on-demand, to live-streaming. And now video’s taking over the internet. Would anyone have believed you if, in the 1920s, you...

What are the most common RAM specs for smartphones?

While 2GB of RAM is enough for iOS to work smoothly, Android devices need more memory. If you’re stuck with an older Android phone with less than 2 gigs of RAM, you are likely to experience OS hiccups even during typical daily tasks. According to the most recent statistics from DeviceAtlas, this is the reality...

Old phone and iphone

Why HTML5 is killing Flash: it’s the devices, people!

It’s 7 years now since Steve Jobs famously declared war on Flash in an open letter entitled Thoughts on Flash. With his knack for prescience, only now is it really looking like it’s lights out for Flash. In response, during the Android Keynote at Google IO 2010, Vic Gundotra cheekily declared that "it turns out on the Internet people use Flash", that Android would still support Flash, and that it was “much nicer than just saying no”...

Bill boards

Mobile ad UX: how to use ads and alienate people

As a follow up to our previous article on the rising prevalence of ad blockers we thought it would be useful to review the types of ad that are likely to deliver a poor user experience, annoy your visitors, and sink your conversion rates. Ads, even at the best of times, aren’t particularly liked by...

Image by Minesweeper

User Agent parsing: how it works and how it can be used

The User-Agent is a central piece of web architecture and plays an important role in content negotiation. It was created with the express intention of building the ability to address users making requests with different clients or ‘agents’ differently, depending on capabilities or context. This article will answer many of questions you may have around...

The SIM – the tiny computer in your pocket that’s really in control

The Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) was first introduced by the GSMA in 1987 in a farsighted move to ensure that a mobile subscriber on a GSM cellular network could maintain an identity on the network independant of a particular mobile device. While its visibility has decreased over time, the humble SIM has been an essential...

Stop signs

Let them block ads!

A lot has happened since we last took a look at the ad blocking landscape—time to come up for some air. Although ad blockers have been used in desktop browsers for years, it all really kicked off in September 2015 when Apple opened up iOS for ad blocker plugins, and since then there’s been a...

Responsive Breakpoints

How to choose media query breakpoints to best support all connected devices

Håkon Wium Lie first sketched out media queries in his initial CSS proposal in 1994. Unfortunately, we had to wait another 8 years till it became a recommended W3C standard in June 2012. When browsers started to widely support media queries, we thought that all our problems were solved. We had the solution to the evolving...

Bill boards

Mobile ad UX: how to use ads and alienate people

As a follow up to our previous article on the rising prevalence of ad blockers we thought it would be useful to review the types of ad that are likely to deliver a poor user experience, annoy your visitors, and sink your conversion rates. Ads, even at the best of times, aren’t particularly liked by...

The SIM – the tiny computer in your pocket that’s really in control

The Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) was first introduced by the GSMA in 1987 in a farsighted move to ensure that a mobile subscriber on a GSM cellular network could maintain an identity on the network independant of a particular mobile device. While its visibility has decreased over time, the humble SIM has been an essential...

Reducing page weight

When approaching the issue of web page weight, it’s useful to keep in mind the well known engineering maxim, “Simplify, and then add lightness“. This article describes some of the ways you can add lightness and reduce your web page weight...

Why your content doesn’t work on mobile

Anyone involved in developing content for the mobile web is probably already aware of the huge performance challenges on mobile. There is now widespread acceptance that we should budget for performance just as much as we should for design, and functionality. Perhaps even more so. So why are many websites still failing users by serving...

Taking the web offline with service workers

You’re probably already familiar with the idea of offline web apps, web apps that can continue to work in the face of intermittent network connectivity. This concept has been around for a while, and various technologies have been developed along the way to achieve offline web apps, (Google) Gears, and Appcache for example, but none of these addressed the offline challenge quite as well as service workers...

Web push notifications

Web push notifications are the best thing to hit the web since the hyperlink! No kidding, this technology is going to be huge. Until recently web developers could only dream of push enabled web apps. Things have changed however, and web push notifications, the asynchronous delivery of messages to a user's device from a website, even when the website is not open in the browser, are now a reality thanks to a number of HTML5 APIs:...

Touch-friendly Drag and Drop

In this article we explore some touch-friendly drag and drop implementations. In particular we'll be looking at DOM and canvas-based drag and drop approaches. We'll also build on some of the things we learned in previous HTML5 articles on mobiForge...

Mobile Networks Statistics 2015

In this section you will find some of the most interesting statistics regarding the advancement of mobile network technology, along with information regarding mobile subscriptions...

The HTML5 Pointer Events API: Combining touch, mouse, and pen

The Pointer Events API is an HTML5 specification that combines touch, mouse, pen and other inputs into a single unified API. It is less well supported than the Touch Events API, although support is growing, with all the major browsers working on an implementation, except for Apple's Safari. There's a colorful background to how the current state of browser support for this API came to be which we covered previously on mobiForge, but in this article we'll just look at its usage...

Webviews and User-Agent strings

Much is made of the comparative times spent browsing the web vs engaging with native apps in the apps vs web debate. An often overlooked part of the discussion is that when engaged with a native app some portion of this time is spent actually on the web, via a webview. We'll get to what a webview is in a minute, but for now, what this means is that although the user is in an app, he or she is effectively browsing the web...

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