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Smashing Mobile Web Development by Greg Avola

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Devices and operating systems

When developing for mobile, every developer must understand the number of devices an app needs to support. On a native platform, you can restrict devices based on the operating system that it’s running on. On a mobile app, however, you don’t have that luxury. You can detect the type of browser the user has; but you still might not know which device he or she is running. This is why it’s very important to understand the different types of devices and operating systems. That knowledge will make your life a whole lot easier when developing for mobile.

iOS: The iOS platform is a writer operating system from Apple. As of this time, the most current release is IOS 5.0.1. iOS runs on the iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad. One of the great things about the iOS platform is it is limited to two screen resolution sizes. All iOS devices come preinstalled with Mobile Safari, a WebKit browser. On Mobile Safari, any file upload control is disabled, preventing the user from uploading any files on a website. Prior to version 5, developers could not use overflow scroll elements, which are commonly used to create fixed top and bottom navigational bars. With the most recent release, web applications have become much more native with this new CSS element. Between October and November 2011, iOS market share rose from 26% to 43% (http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/09/ios-marketshare-up-from-26-in-q3-to-43-in-octnov-2011/).

Android: The Android platform is available on a wide range ...

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