Chapter 7. Basics of Mobile HTML5

The standards are sometimes utopias, while the real world is something different. Many devices officially support standards, but in practice some feature is missing; many other devices add support for more technologies besides what is covered by the standards.

They are decent resources, though, and they contain much good advice for multiplatform mobile web development. We will take that a bit further here, testing every feature in the standards (and some nonstandard ones) to draw real conclusions about their usage.

We will go through a typical document, from the heading to the body structure, looking at the most common design patterns for document structure, including forms, frames, tables, links, and images. We will test every possible solution for each topic on every mobile platform so we can get some useful information about what we can and cannot use.

The Document Head

The head part of a mobile web document will be very similar to that in a desktop web document, with the addition of some new meta tags useful only in mobile browsers.


First we’ll define a title, as for any other web page. The space available for the title in a mobile browser is small compared with a desktop browser (Table 7-1 gives the average lengths of the titles displayed on the different phone-factor platforms). The page title is used as the heading at the top of the screen on some devices; other devices also use the title as the default text for bookmarks and the history ...

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