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WAP browser discovery

is user-agent really the only way?



8:00 pm on Feb 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I've got my first fully WAP friendly section ready on one of my websites and I am discouraged to find at first glance the only way to offer visitors an automatic re-route is via user-agent? Literally hundreds of possibilities?

Is there nothing else sent that I can query with a scrap of php or apache htaccess to make it easier?


8:22 pm on Feb 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

as a matter of interest, why did you go with WAP rather than the new .mobi standards?

i've got a couple of juicy .mobi domains i'am planning to develop, so if WAP is making a come back, it would be nice to know :-)

How do the various analytics packages determine screen settings? if you find that, it might help


11:48 pm on Feb 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Because no phone made before 2003 will support the .mobi standard and there are alot of them out there (GRM lasts forever). Some phones even made in 2005 won't work with anything but WAP 2.0 or less.

WAP is the equal of a mobile Netscape 4.x that will haunt handheld website programming for at least the next few years.

Plus it simply works on virtually all handhelds. Clean and fast and it's easy to program.

I sort of figured out my own question. There's a limited test you can do to see what content is accepted. Trying to build a proof of concept now.

[edited by: amznVibe at 11:49 pm (utc) on Feb. 4, 2007]


12:21 am on Feb 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

> Trying to build a proof of concept now.

Do keep us posted; I, for one, would like to hear about a solution...


12:58 am on Feb 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

i am going to stick with .mobi, cos

i know that here in the UK, mobile phones appear to be one of the gadgets that most folk seem to like keeping up with the jones, ergo old phones , thats anything more than 1 yr are soon dust

The folk who keep old phone, probably wouldn't use WAP internet because of cost, afterall, keeping an old phone is often a cost related issue

These phone get knocked about a lot, their lifespan is very limited

anyway, i've started reading up on .mobi , an its starting to gel nicely


7:34 pm on Feb 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You can build .mobi xhtml sites that downgrade to WML
Check out wapedia.mobi for a nice example (useful too).

Apparently alot of phones made after 2001 have a reference in their browser headers called a UAProf which links to xml file that describes their abilities: [en.wikipedia.org...]

The problem is you can't rely on it, and it's alot of overhead.

My cheap trick relies on looking at the "Accept:" browser header.
It's not bulletproof but it does seem to work a great deal of the time.
If it contains vnd.wap.xhtml+xml, then you can send it .mobil xhtml standards.

If it only has text/vnd.wap.wml, then you need to only send WML 1.1 (maybe 2.0)
(2.0 only adds a few things like list support, OL and UL)

If you don't get any "accept:" and you know it's a mobile device you best downgrade to WML only.


8:08 pm on Feb 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

thanks , that does give me a lot to work on

Goodluck with your site, the field is wide open :-)


8:11 pm on Feb 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Fascinating graph from tmobile that estimates at least 200 million WAP 1.1 (only) devices still in use today:



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