BlackBerry PlayBook Web Browsing Team: Quick Tips

Web Development

Our sister site, the Inside BlackBerry blog, posted an interview today with Matthew and it’s worthy of note here on the Inside BlackBerry Developer’s blog. Matthew is the manager of the Browser & Web Platform team at Research In Motion® (RIM®), which is crafting the Web experience for the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. In the interview, Matthew fires off a few quick tips for web developers to follow when developing for tablets. Check them out below!

What should developers keep in mind when they are building pages to be PlayBook compatible?

The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet browser is very resilient and can handle complex Web content very well. We have some tricks up our sleeve but I am going to save those tips for a little later. Here are some general tips for developers to follow when developing for all tablets.

  • Follow Web standards when designing your content.
  • Do not use obsolete standards like WML, XHTML-MP.
  • Keep in mind tablet interaction mechanisms. Generally, there is no mouse and no hover on tablets as they are usually purely touch-based devices. Design for touch screen interaction. Keep in mind the size of hit targets when designing buttons and other UI, and pay attention to the implementation of touch events and gestures. Each platform handles these events slightly differently.
  • Be conscious of the screen size and resolution when developing your content if you are using fixed size elements.
  • It’s best to avoid using framesets. On some platforms, frames get flattened out which can be unexpected and changes the layout of the entire page. On other platforms that don’t flatten, frames are difficult to interact with for zooming and scrolling.
  • If you want fine-tuned control of your content, you can use meta-tags, like the viewport meta-tag to control layout size and zooming behavior.
  • Avoid using popups. They are just annoying.
  • Consider how you want your site to look under both landscape and portrait orientations.

Make sure to read the full interview taking you inside the BlackBerry PlayBook Web Browsing team.

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