Mobile Devices

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stuff we talked about at Midwest 2010.

Basic techniques

  • choose device-specific CSS based on screen width:
 <LINK REL=StyleSheet HREF="desktop.css" TYPE="text/css" media="screen,projection,tv and (min-width: 501px)">
 <link rel="stylesheet" media="handheld, screen and (max-width: 500px)" href="smallscreen.css" type="text/css">
  • or put the query in your css file;
 @media screen and (min-width: 400px) and (max-width: 700px) { ... }
  • set the "viewport" on the device so the page scales to an appropriate size
 <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width">


  • Notre Dame's mobile library interface from Boopsie ($$). Download free app:

  • Wittenberg's CSS-driven mobile-friendly web (test-port only right now):

other sites


  • Stark, Jonathan. Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. O'Reilley (2009).
    • some good info on general mobile web design techniques
  • iPhone emulator online:
  • MIT Mobile Framework
  • Webkit
  • Drupal "Sections": different themes based on URL (e.g. "" gets a different theme)