A new tech blog by designer, developer, ex-Nokian and Nokia Developer Champion Randall @Texrat Arnold. Texrat is a well known member of the Maemo, MeeGo and Qt communities. His old site Tablula Crypticum was one of the more entertaining and insightful tech focused blogs out there.
With post404, Randal plans to focus on open source developer communities, with an emphasis on the current doings of former and present Maemo and MeeGo contribtors. He aims to build a team of community writers and create a lively online magazine covering the intersection of tech, science and sociology.
post401 is off to a good start with several posts introducing the site and an interesting analysis of Nokia's current staus and future possibilities.
I recently discovered Niels Leenheer's HTML5Test.com. It's another test suite that attempts to measure a browser's support for components of the HTML (formerly HTML5) and CSS3 draft specs. Like the W3C's Web Compatibility Test for Mobile Browsers - version 2 this one assigns a numeric score representing the browsers overall compliance with the specs. It shows pass/fail grades for each individual test as well.
As Niels points out, his test is not complete and doesn't cover all the fetaures of the HTML5 draft spec yet. It also tests some things that aren't part of HTML5 or CSS3 such as microdata support and which video and audio codecs are available. And unlike with the W3C test it doesn't seem to be possible to see tabulated results for all browsers tested.
Comparing browsers against spec compliance benchmarks is interesting too but I think too much is made of there being a "race" between browsers to achieve the best score on these tests. What really matters to developers is whether a given browser supports what they are trying to build. To end users all that matters is that the sites they want to use look and work well in their browser.
Html5test.com uses media queries to detect mobile browsers and reformat the results into a single fit to width column for them. That seems to work well well with any browser with any HTML5 feature support.
W3C HTML5 Test
This is a forward looking test that is designed to test HTML 5 capabilities that will drive the next generation of mobile Webapps including XmlHttpRequest, <canvas>, <input type='date'>, contenteditable, Appcache, <video>, <audio>, Web Workers, localStorage, sessionStorage and @font-face. Most mobile browsers don't support many of these capabilities yet.
You can click though from the test to see a results page listing the scores for all tested browsers.
Media Query Test
A set of pages demoing the use of HTML5's video, audio and canvas elements a comprehensive test suite covering 160 HTML elements and capabilities from mobile development shop Momac. I ran the test on a bunch of mobile browsers with the following results:
Android 2.1 - 118 (out of 160)
Skyfire 2.0 (Android) - 110
Bolt 2.1 - 99
Opera Mobile 10 - 33
Skyfire 1.5 Symbian - 18
Opera Mini 5 - 14
UCWEB 7.2 - 4
Nokia N95-3 Webkit - 0
HTML5 for Web Developers
The HTML 5 spec in a responsive web design from WHATWG that works well in moderm mobile (and desktop) browsers.
Shi Chuan's Blog
ZXing Decoder Online
ZXing Decoder Online web based bar code decoder from ZXing, an open source project that's created Android and mobile Java bar code reader apps and a bar code decoding library.
The ZXing webapp lets you decode 1D or 2D barcodes found in images online or images uploaded from your device. It displays the contents of the barcode which could be text, a phone number, vCard or a URL.
The decoder could be useful if your phone doesn't support any barcode reader apps. Many feature phones block 3rd party Java apps from accessing the camera. You can get around this limitation by taking a photo of the barcode and uploading it to the online decoder.
Another use for decoder is to discover the target or contents of a barcode on a web page you are viewing. Either paste the bar code image's URL into the decoder or save the bar code image on your phone and upload it to the decoder.
Unfortunately the decoder doesn't format URLs in barcodes as clickable links. It doesn't format phone numbers or tel: URIs as click to call links either. So you would need copy the URL or phone number from the browser (if your browser supports copying) and paste it into the address bar or dialer.
On the plus side the decoder and ZXing library handles an impressive number of bar code formats including UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-8, EAN-13,QR Code,Data Matrix, Aztec and several others. More information about supported formats can be found on the ZXing project page at code.google.com/p/zxing/
Mobile (or at least iPhone and Android) friendly webapp for searching and browsing the WURFL mobile device information repository. Lookup a handset by make and model to view a comprehensive listing of the device's capabilities including display resolution, supported doctypes, Java ME features, image, audio and video formats and much more.
Knowing your phone's user agent isn't only useful to developers. There are a number of mobile phones and mobile operators that block OTA downloads of games, applications, ring tones, themes and wallpapers. This is true of Nextel, Boost, Verizon and Virgin Mobile in the US.
In many cases it's possible get about these restrictions using a cable or BlueTooth to side-load the content on your phone. On Verizon phones, the only off-portal way to load ring tones is by sending them in an MMS. Before you can do any of these things you have to get the files on your PC. Usually this pretty easy. But some software and content vendors only allow downloading OTA to your phone and they check the phone's User-Agent to deliver the correct version, or no version at all it the phone is unsupported or you are using a PC web browser. There is a work around. A Firefox extension called User Agent Switcher lets you temporarily change the browser's User-Agent to anything you want. So if you know your phone's User-Agent you can impersonate it and download the files you need.
Besides the User-Agent, my script also reports the Accept, Accept-Encoding, Accept-Language and Accept-Charset headers as well as the Via header and any "X" headers. The Via and X headers can be used to identify transcoders. Many browsers send an x-wap-profile header which contains the URL of a UAProf file describing the device's characteristics.
Here an example of the script's output: This is what my N95's built in WebKit Browser sends:
user-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.2; U; Series60/3.1 NokiaN95-3/20.2.011; Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413
accept: text/html,text/css,multipart/mixed,application/java-archive, application/java, application/x-java-archive, text/vnd.sun.j2me.app-descriptor, application/vnd.oma.drm.message, application/vnd.oma.drm.content, application/vnd.oma.dd+xml, application/vnd.oma.drm.rights+xml, application/vnd.oma.drm.rights+wbxml, application/x-nokia-widget, */*
accept-language: en-us, en;q=1.0,fr-ca, fr;q=0.5,pt-br, pt;q=0.5,es;q=0.5
accept-charset: iso-8859-1, utf-8; q=0.7, *; q=0.7
accept-encoding: gzip, deflate, x-gzip, identity; q=0.9
Spammers love to use email scripts like this one to send junk to everyone's mailbox. I've added a lot of safeguards and input checking to the script try and prevent it's misuse. If I find it's being used to send spam I'll have to take it down, of course. It's also possible that my anti-spammer code will cause the script to fail on phones that send some really weird headers. If you get an error message saying something about a "Suspected injection attempt", "invalid email address" or "newline found" please let me know via a comment on this post or by using the Contact Form. Please include the name of your carrier and phone and, if possible, the full text of the error message.
If your are worried about providing your email address, I don't store email addresses and will never share yours with anyone. If you want to be extra safe, use a disposable email address from a free service like Spamgourmet.com or Yahoo Mail's Addressguard.
jQuery Mobile Examples
A gallery and directory of mobile sites and apps built with JQuery Mobile.
A free web service that resizes images on the fly for mobile publishers and designers.
Just specify the src in you image tags like this:
And Sencha.io Src resizes myimage.png to the specified width (320) and height (200)
My IP for mobile
BBR Speed Test
Online mobile portal promising to reveal the "dark secrets of dark wap". While I didn't find anything truly secret or particularly "dark" on DarkWAP.mobi, the site does have some useful tips and tricks for mobile webmasters and users including GPRS settings for several operators, reviews of mobile ad networks and hosting providers and a directory of free server side scripts. Source: Mobility.mobi
Univ. Mobile Interface
Martin Vendel's blog where he tracks mobile web services and promotes his concept of a "Universal Mobile Interface" which combines a full web browser with contacts and messaging. Mobile edition auto-generated by WordPress.com
This is Mobility
GSMWorld Coverage Maps
Being a curious techie I wanted to find out more about these operators. Some Goggling eventually landed me on gsmworld.mobi, the mobile web version of GSMWorld.com, which is the official site of the GSM Association a global trade association of GSM operators. GSMWorld.mobi has coverage maps and a bit of other information about over 700 GSM operators worldwide.
This site could be especially useful when traveling internationally. Use it to find carriers with coverage in the places you'll will be visiting so you can purchase the right pre-paid SIMs.
The mobile coverage maps are available in two sizes: 162 x 104 px and 447 x 288 px. Unlike the maps on GSMWorld.com the mobile maps aren't zoomable. They don't seem to be as up to date, either. The ATT map on the mobile site is completely messed up, only showing ATT coverage in Salt Lake City, Utah!
I also had a bit of trouble finding both the operators I was using as they were listed under different names. Einstein appears as Airadigm Communications and iWireless as Iowa Wireless. It would be a big help if GSMWorld included each operator's Mobile Country Code (MCC) and Mobile Network Code (MNC) in the results or better yet provided an MCC/MNC lookup. Unlike names these codes do not change. Of course you would have to know what MCC/MNC to search for. Some phones, like the Motorola Z8 can display the MCC/MNC without additional software and for those that don't you can use a Java or native application. On the N95 I use a great freeware application called PhoNetInfo.Besides coverage maps GSMWorld.mobi offers press releases and an events calendar although like the maps they aren't current.
Flash Lite 4 Nokia
Covers Flash Lite development on Nokia phones.