Paul M Foster wrote:
This is sort of obliquely related to PHP.

I don't have a smart phone, but I need to know a couple of things:

1) Do smart phones use the same browsers as the desktop, or do they have
their own stripped down versions of browsers?

2) When a browser broadcasts its header telling the server what kind of
browser is involved, do they broadcast anything in the header to
indicate that they're being run on a smart phone?

3) Bonus question: Is there a preferred method amongst coders to
determine what type of environment is being browsed from, so as to serve
up the proper type of page (desktop or smart phone version of a


Hi Paul, I think this is a great PHP conversation.. and I don't understand why GOTO threads always get way more replies than something like this ;-)

Diverse User Agent compatibility is going to be more and more of a challenge for us.. gone are the days of a few known browsers that are viewing our sites. From bots, to browsers, to mobile devices, to game UA's, to app UA's.., to IE's stubborn outlook on the web... the idea of user experience is growing complicated! ;-)

I really liked Mari's posted link to the "a list apart" blog about "responsive web design" using "media query" (CSS).. however, it seems to me that it takes the use of many languages and techniques in many cases to get the job done... user agent serving (using PHP or JS or alike), flexible CSS and web design, and a keen eye on your target audience may all play apart.

However, this is a PHP list.. and I think we can better approach this topic by limiting our scope to talk about how PHP could be useful.

My first question, being that my first language is not PHP, is; is their any core PHP mobile detection functions/tools that exist?

I have a running list of mobile UA's that I picked up somewhere that I often use and edit to distribute content accordingly. I also have a PHP mobile detection script that I picked up somewhere. I'm sure these things can be found via google as well. The problem, as Mari's link suggests, is that UA "list's" and browser sniffing scripts need maintaining quite regularly, since mobile UA's are being added on a weekly basis perhaps.

Many of my projects do some PC UA (browser) sniffing.. especially for IE., as IE has it's own system that it uses for how to render content.

Anyway, I'm happy to share what I have.. but like I said, PHP is not my first language, so I am interested to see what the more established PHP'ers may have to say.


D Brooke

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