1. User Agent Detection and Client Device Capabilities Detection

1.1. Introduction

The number of client devices supported by an application is a major factor that determines whether the application will be a success or failure. Building an application that supports lots of user agents is not so straightforward because:

In this tutorial, we will describe two common ways for detecting user agent types and device capabilities. The first way is to use the information in some traditional HTTP headers such as Accept, User-Agent, Accept-Charset and Accept-Language. The second way is to use UAProf (User Agent Profile), the standard way defined by the Open Mobile Alliance (formerly the WAP Forum) for detecting user agent types and device capabilities.

The advantage of UAProf is that it provides more detail information about the user agent and the wireless device than traditional HTTP headers. The drawback of UAProf is that old wireless device models do not support it.

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