HTML and CSS Reference
er General Public License (LGPL), companies releasing products off of them, including Apple, were required
to release the source code of those changes to WebKit back to the open source community. This means that
because the project has remained open source, many mobile device manufacturers, including Google, Nokia,
Blackberry, Amazon, and HP have used it as the basis for their mobile browsers and have been releasing their
changes back to the community, accelerating the quality of mobile browsing all around.
As mentioned previously, the two dominant smartphone platforms with HTML5 capable browsers—iOS
and Android—both use a WebKit-based browser as the default device browser. Android, however, doesn't use
WebKit is also used in Safari, Apple's default browser, as well as Google Chrome. As such, when doing mo-
bile development, your best bet is to use Chrome or Safari to get results closer to the majority of the mobile
market than if you were to use Firefox or IE. As the developer tools in Chrome are best in class, consider using
Chrome as your primary development browser.
Although it may seem like having 80% of the market behind a world-class browser engine is a dream come
true for developers, the truth is that not all WebKit browsers are made alike. Quirksmode.org did a com-
parison of the differences between the various mobile WebKit versions and declared:
There is no "WebKit on mobile!"
You can view the full report on the Quirksmode.org website at www.quirksmode.org/webkit_mobile.html .
Opera: Still Plugging Along
Opera was an early entrant to the mobile space with Opera Mobile in 2000. Opera Mini, released in 2005, was
one of the first useful browsers on mobile devices that used an intermediate server to process and compress re-
quests to speed up delivery to the low-bandwidth and low-horsepower devices of the day. Opera has since lost
its dominant market position in the United States. Worldwide, Opera still holds a 24.5% market share across all
its products, making it the world's most popular mobile browser. However, that may not last long.
Firefox: Mozilla's Mobile Offering
Mozilla's mobile browser for Android, Fennec (Apple prohibits installing another browser on the iPhone or
iPod), is close to the cutting edge. It supports a good chunk of wanted HTML5 functionality, including some
features such as multitouch and orientation support that are missing on Android and on some default WebKit-
However you may feel about Firefox's development path on the desktop, Mozilla provides a valuable role
in the community as the ombudsperson of the Internet, making sure that the concerns of your average netizen
don't get drowned out under the cacophony of corporate interests that dominate the Net. Having a product on
mobile devices ensures that next-generation devices aren't left without Mozilla representation.
WP7 Internet Explorer 9
Although Windows Phone 7 generally received good reviews when it was released, it has yet to take significant
market share. The 7.5 release shares a rendering engine with the desktop IE9, Trident 5.0, and supports SVG,