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Don't Neglect the Android Users--There's Too Much at Stake: Detecting Android Tablets vs. Phones
As Android users are screaming, "Don't forget me!" E-Commerce companies who are serious about pleasing and serving all of their users cannot afford to ignore the growing tablet market. Use of mobile devices has been growing and e-Commerce companies are falling behind. It began with the introduction and growth in popularity of smart phones. Many companies answered this need by creating mobile sites. These mobile sites are not one size fits all creations however. A tablet user directed to a mobile site designed for a phone is immediately turned off. How much does this hurt you? Consider this:
Clearly it is important to detect an android tablet vs. a phone.
How patient are users with e-commerce providers’ efforts to adapt to the changing user experience and technologies?
Responses to a problematic website include:
The upshot of this is that poor web experiences on a tablet will impact a business’s bottom line. Currently, 11% of Americans have a tablet, however, the IDC projects that by 2015 more people in the U.S. will access the Internet via mobile devices than through desktop computers and that the business to consumer e-Commerce market will grow from $708 million to $1.2 billion. This means that an e-Commerce strategy relying on a desktop website is leaving a lot of money on the table. Yet another reason to be sure you are detecting android tablets vs. phones.
There are challenges that come with designing and maintaining a site that will potentially be used by many different types of devices. Many sites address this concern by having a separate mobile site. A major pitfall we see is when site owners send tablet users to these mobile sites created for phones. A study from Blaze.io found that one third of the top 500 website s in the U.S. fail to recognize Android tablet browsers. This leads to the mobile version being delivered to these users. This is a problem. It is caused by looking for the wrong word in the information provided to the browser from Android devices. Phones provide this information like this:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2.1; en-us; Nexus One Build/FRG83) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1
The information from an Android tablet would look something like this:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.2.1; en-us; device Build/FRG83) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Safari/533.1
The difference is highlighted. When detecting for an Android tablet vs. a phone, many sites are only detecting for “Android” in the logic. Websites need to refine their logic to differentiate between devices with small screens and devices with larger screens by searching for the word “mobile” in the information string. This will allow websites to better serve users of Android tablets.
As a side note, this is not generally a problem for Apple devices as the information delivered by Apple is easier to differentiate and there are fewer products for the browsers to keep track of.
Is it worth it? Only 64% of tablet users are using an iPad. This means that ignoring this minor fix can potentially lead to frustration for 36% of your tablet users who are a more lucrative demographic. I’ll say it’s worth it!
|Last Updated on Monday, 04 June 2012 15:04|