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2008-08-11

Annotated browser list for handheld devices

Below is a commented list of browsers for handheld devices, mainly mobile phones. See also the short recommendations.

Erik Thau-Knudsen

List of browsers for desktop and laptop computers in order of compatibility with this site
Name Logo Comment Minimum versions
iPhone Sony Ericsson Nokia Samsung
Opera Mini Opera

A cute little browser from Norway. Very good for CSS. Also good for sites with a high security level, targeted for Internet Explorer.

Opera is the most standards compliant browser.

For small devices operating under a costly bandwith, this is a very good choice, because all images pass through Opera's servers that automatically reduce the images for the handheld device, i.e., lowers the size of the transfer. If you want to download specific images in the original size, this is another option.

Freeware

Bottom line for this site: superb

n/a 1.0 1.0  
Safari Safari

Apple's own browser for iPhone. A handheld adaptation of the PC version. It relies on Apple's WebCore engine. Very good for CSS.

Freeware

Bottom line for this site: recommended

1.0 n/a n/a n/a
Built-in browsers  

Although this is a rather heterogenous group, some generalisations can be made when it comes to usefulness for displaying this site.

The mobile phone manufacturers have passed the phase when they tried to develop their own web browsers. Instead, they buy the software from minor soft-ware providers. This has meant a significant face-lift and increased stability and useability.

Freeware — a part of your device's basic operating system setup.

Due to very diverse product numbering, the versions relate to years of production of the hardware.

Confer Safari 2005 and later 2005 and later 2004 and later
Phonifier

Not a browser per se, but an on-line converter and parser of HTML code, targeted for mobile phones with screens 320 pixels high and 240 pixels wide. Go to Phonifier's home page, enter a URL of your own choice in the form field, press , and you will get a web document adapted to your mobile device. Powered by Paragin and ShotCode.com, Phonifier uses any web browser already installed in your device.

The disadvantage is that Phonifier neglects the design notes in forms of Cascading Style Sheets and possible Java Scripts altogether. It simply strips off all elements from the <head> tag of the HTML code save the <title> tag and converts the document into XHTML 1.0 Transitional, using its own stylesheets. This reduces the size of the HTML document by 10-30%, but Phonifier will keep all images unless specifically set not to show them.

If you want to view a web page outlined by an author who never paid small handheld devices any attention, Phonifier can be one place to go for displaying the raw contents of the page. This, however, is not the case with pages I have authored. Images grow to unacceptable sizes.

Freeware, but prepare yourself for annoying advertising from the provider.

Bottom line for this site: not recommended

2008 and later 2008 and later 2008 and later 2008 and later

2008-08-11

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