On fennecomb, show tablet or full version of websites, not phone version.

NEW
Unassigned

Status

Firefox for Android Graveyard
General
P1
enhancement
7 years ago
7 years ago

People

(Reporter: ibarlow, Unassigned)

Tracking

(Depends on: 1 bug)

Firefox 8
ARM
Android
Dependency tree / graph

Details

(Reporter)

Description

7 years ago
Instead of showing something like this http://cl.ly/3E0u0G3J1v251I0H2g0E , we should show something like this http://cl.ly/0w033J3u3A2v3f1n2i43
Severity: normal → enhancement
OS: Mac OS X → Android
Priority: -- → P1
Hardware: x86 → ARM
The site decides which version to serve, usually based on the browser's user-agent header.  We can control what information we put in the header, but we don't want to outright lie and pretend to be a different browser, because it will cause bugs and will prevent sites from accurately targeting Fennec.

Google adds "Mobile" to the UA to request mobile sites on phones, and omits "Mobile" on tablets:
http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/12/android-browser-user-agent-issues.html

For example, the stock browser in Android 3.2 has User-Agent:
"Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 3.2; en-us; Xoom Build/HTJ85B) AppleWebKit/534.13 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Safari/534.13"

Perhaps we could eliminate the "Fennec/" part of our UA and replace it with "Mobile", with an option to include or remove the "Mobile" part.

Many sites may still serve "mobile" versions because they see "Android" in the UA string.  We could wait for them to fix this to accomodate Android tablets, or we could even hide the "Android" part (and just use "Linux" as the platform?) in our Tablet/"non-Mobile" mode.
Some more thoughts:

* While I agree that we should help sites serve large-screen content by default to tablet users and small-screen content by default to handheld/phone users, we should also let the user override this setting.  We get a lot of feedback from users who only want "full" sites or only "mobile" sites, regardless of which type of device they use.

* We should not completely hide the fact that the user is running a mobile/touch-screen version of Firefox.  Some sites may have mobile/touch interfaces that are optimized for tablets as well as phones.  If web developers can be convinced to pay attention to it then I think we should join with Google in evangelizing "Mobile" as a way to distinguish between tablets and handhelds, while leaving "Android" in the UA in both cases.
(Reporter)

Comment 3

7 years ago
I am cool with providing users the option to switch from full to mobile versions of sites, probably put that under preferences...

In the meantime, can we switch the default display mode on fennecomb to large-screen content?
Duplicate of this bug: 686122
Blocks: 687019

Comment 5

7 years ago
http://hahlo.com has a mobile version and a tablet version of their app. Since in Firefox we don't differentiate Firefox on phone and Firefox on tablet, how are the developers supposed to know what to serve?

I think they should serve the same content for phone and tablet, and then, with a mediaQuery, change the layout. Is that the right way to do it?
> I think they should serve the same content for phone and tablet, and then,
> with a mediaQuery, change the layout. Is that the right way to do it?

^^ I agree that should be best practices - and solves this problem in the longer term, but not the shorter term.

Comment 7

7 years ago
(In reply to Dave Dash [:davedash] from comment #6)
> > I think they should serve the same content for phone and tablet, and then,
> > with a mediaQuery, change the layout. Is that the right way to do it?
> 
> ^^ I agree that should be best practices - and solves this problem in the
> longer term, but not the shorter term.

From an evangelism point of view, this is going to be hard to defend: seems like people have already developed tablet-specific code. They don't serve the same code for desktop, tablet and phones. For example, Hahlo.com has a specific webapp for iPad. So the developer has to re-write completely his code to make it work with Firefox for tablet.
(In reply to Paul Rouget [:paul] from comment #5)
> http://hahlo.com has a mobile version and a tablet version of their app.
> Since in Firefox we don't differentiate Firefox on phone and Firefox on
> tablet, how are the developers supposed to know what to serve?
> 
> I think they should serve the same content for phone and tablet, and then,
> with a mediaQuery, change the layout. Is that the right way to do it?

Yes, media queries are the right way. Unfortunately, it's probably hard to make authors think that way when Apple, Google and Opera make it possible to think in terms of "desktop or tablet or phone" by looking at the UA string.

I wonder if Linux desktop users would end up suffering if we make the UA string the same across Linux desktop, Android tablets and Android phones to force authors to use media queries to sniff the device form factor.

BTW, where's the line between a tablet and a phone these days when Samsung is throwing all sizes at the market, presumably to see what sticks? Should an Asus Transformer start reporting itself as a desktop when you attach the keyboard module?

(In reply to Paul Rouget [:paul] from comment #7)
> From an evangelism point of view, this is going to be hard to defend: seems
> like people have already developed tablet-specific code. They don't serve
> the same code for desktop, tablet and phones. For example, Hahlo.com has a
> specific webapp for iPad. So the developer has to re-write completely his
> code to make it work with Firefox for tablet.

The flipside of getting sites to serve different code to Firefox on a tablet compared to Firefox on phones is that they serve different code to Firefox on phones compared to tablets. Why should I want the less Ajaxy mobile.twitter.com on a phone when Firefox on phones has all the same capability for dynamic updates as Firefox on tablets and desktop? Shouldn't I just want full Twitter on all my Firefox instances and have it to use media queries to hide the cruft in the sidebar on narrow screens?
Depends on: 673723

Comment 9

7 years ago
some follow up question, does firefox mobile detects if it is installed in a tablet or phone? i'm not sure if it was told during the mozcamp asia, but if it can detect which one, would it be possible to pass the user-agent string as tablet or which one is proper
(In reply to Joell Lapitan from comment #9)
> some follow up question, does firefox mobile detects if it is installed in a
> tablet or phone? i'm not sure if it was told during the mozcamp asia, but if
> it can detect which one, would it be possible to pass the user-agent string
> as tablet or which one is proper

Yes, and we are working on this in bug 671634.
Depends on: 671634

Updated

7 years ago
No longer depends on: 671634
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