Handset Detection Optimizes The Mobile Web Experience

One of the fastest growing segments on the Internet today is the mobile web. More and more people are starting to surf through websites and download a myriad of content onto their cell phones, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Unfortunately, much of the Internet has been designed to be best enjoyed on a full-size computer. For designers and developers, there is an additional issue of addressing all kinds of different mobile devices with different levels of compatibility and different screen sizes.

To help address this issue, Handset Detection offers an integrated solution that will direct visitors to the right place depending on their smartphone, cellular phone, or other mobile device of choice.

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How Does Handset Detection Work?

Let’s go through a sample scenario. You have an online shop where people can buy a variety of widgets and you want to have a mobile version of the site that is compatible with as many different smartphones as possible. Should someone come to visit your company’s website from an iPhone, you can offer an iPhone-optimized site that has been designed to work best with that screen resolution and with a touchscreen-based interface. This might mean having larger buttons and having links more spaced out. By contrast, if someone were to visit the site from a BlackBerry Curve, you want the site to look best on the smaller, lower-resolution screen. Since the Curve has a trackball or trackpad, the links can be closer together and the buttons don’t have to be as big. How can you automatically redirect your visitors to the appropriate site? That’s where Handset Detection comes into play.

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Using this system, a visitor attempts to visit your website. Your server then relays a request to Handset Detection asking about the characteristics of the visitor’s web browser. This request passes through a load balancer so that it can be directed to the most optimal Handset Detection server. From there, the Handset Detection server analyzes the request and sends all available information back to your server, including manufacturer, model name/number, wireless carrier, geolocation, screen resolution, and so on. Your server can then use that information to provide the most optimized user experience. Handset Detection has a device database of over 37,000 mobile devices and device variations with about 200 more mobile devices being added each week.

Providing the Right Products Too

The Handset Detection system can not only be used for the optimization of different mobile websites, but also for the distribution of digital products and other mobile content. For instance, you can offer different cell phone wallpapers, ringtones, and themes based on the handset that is identified. If someone came to the site using a Nokia E72, the desired wallpaper size would be dramatically different than if they visited using a Google Nexus One.

More Features and Highlights

Naturally, the biggest feature of the Handset Detection service is its ability to identify thousands of different mobile devices, redirecting visitors and customers automatically to the appropriate mobile web location. In addition to the handset detection, the service can also determine the location and wireless carrier of these visitors. By using this kind of customized and personalized approach, you can offer deals specific to that customer. Want to target O2 users in London? You can. Want to target T-Mobile customers in California? You can do that too. The Geo IP feature can detect carrier, country, city, region, longitude, and latitude.

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The Handset Detection is system is constantly updating and learning, gaining knowledge about over 500,000 browsers, bots, crawlers, cell phones, and game consoles. You can rest assured that Handset Detection runs on redundant Amazon AWS server clusters, virtually eliminating any lag or downtime. These server clusters use AWS S3, auto scaling, load balancing, and cloudwatch.

Building with the API Kits

Detecting the different handsets and mobile devices is useful, but the information cannot be put to use if you don’t have the right content to go with it. Thankfully, Handset Detection offers a wide range of API kits for most of the major development languages. This way, you can quickly and easily optimize your mobile content for a variety of different devices. The API kits are updated on a regular basis and they include kits for PHP, Python, Java, ASP.NET, and ColdFusion. To provide the best experience, Handset Detection also welcomes developers to provide additional kits, additions, and updates to be posted on the site. This makes it much easier for designers to use. For more support, it is worth checking out the resources section on the Handset Detection site. This is a great place to learn about handset information, like screen sizes, click to call strings, and other phone properties. Additional information can be found on the official blog as well.

Analyze All Mobile Web Visitors

One of the critical features included in Handset Detection is the statistical package. You want to know more about your customers and where the greatest opportunities may lie. Most conventional analytics packages use Javascript, but 73% of mobile handsets do not support this standard. You are losing out! Thankfully, Handset Detection Analytics overcomes this issue and works with the majority of mobile devices. The detection and redirection information can be accessed from your user dashboard, letting you learn about percentage of mobile users, top countries, top carriers, most popular phone models, and so on.

Make More Money as an Affiliate

While Handset Detection will certainly help your mobile business make more money by catering to each specific customer on a near individual basis, you can earn additional revenue by signing up as an affiliate. The affiliate program actually consists of two parts. Referrers can earn 25% of any subscriber payments whereas developers can earn 25% of subscriber payments if the subscriber uses their software. If you do both for the same referral, you effectively earn a 50% commission. Payments are issued once a month via PayPal, assuming a minimum balance of $20. You can externally track the referrals using your own software if you prefer as well, but you cannot refer yourself.

How Much Does It Cost?

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Handset Detection’s pricing model is scalable to suit the specific needs of your business. Starting small? Take the smallest package? Already have a large enterprise-level operation? Go for a bigger package. The Supporter plan is just $5 a month and it includes up to 30,000 detections, comes with full API access, and stores twelve months of history to go with your mobile analytics. Other plans include the $18 Blogger, $47 Professional, $97 Business, and $147 Enterprise. The Professional plan is the most popular with 450,000 monthly detections, soft limits, unlimited history, 3 server license, and live updates. Considering the rising popularity of mobile web access and cell phone digital content, Handset Detection sounds like a great fit to accommodate as many different devices as possible. After all, not everyone uses an iPhone.