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  • Strategic deployment advice for securing and managing iPhones, iPads, BlackBerrys, Android devices, and more
  • Checklist comparison of mobile platforms' Exchange ActiveSync and other management capabilities
  • A guide to the major mobile device management tool offerings

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The InfoWorld user agent detector

InfoWorld's tool lets Web developers see the IDs of devices accessing their pages so they can optimize presentation based on device

As more mobile devices come to market, Web developers face the challenge of having their websites reconfigure themselves on the fly to work optimally in each browser. To help do so, you can detect the device/browser combination's user agent string using this page -- just go to (and note the "s" is required in the https:// portion of the URL to work on most mobile devices) from the device whose ID you want to discover.

Your current device/browser combination's user agent string is:

 This device appears to be Email yourself this user agent string. (Or ask your users to send you this email from their devices to see what their user agent strings are.) When you click this link, your email client should appear. When it does, fill in the To email address, edit the subject and body text as desired, and then send the message. (InfoWorld will not detect or store your email address.)

Once you know the user agent strings for the device you intend to support, you can detect them at the Apache server level (using Apache's RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} facility) to redirect to pages optimized for those devices. Or you can detect the user agent at the page level (using JavaScript's navigator.userAgent facility) and then use dynamic HTML and JavaScript to optimize the page on the fly for each supported device.

In the user agent string, look for unique labels that you can use to detect that specific device, such as iPad, Xoom, or BlackBerry. In some cases, different models will have variations of these labels.

Handy resources

TIP: To peruse InfoWorld on a mobile device, go to (Desktop and iPad users should go to

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