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MobileESP: Updated for Kindle

Hi, folks —

Thanks to some questions from Dave M., we realized that MobileESP had inconsistent support for detecting the Amazon Kindle e-Ink devices as mobile devices, plus, they were also reporting “true” as Rich CSS Tier devices (which they are not). In addition, MobileESP had no support for detecting the Amazon Kindle Fire devices in Silk browser acceleration mode, which uses a different useragent string.

We updated the MobileESP code bases twice today. The first was to standardize support for detection of the Kindle e-Ink device. Then we remembered that we had wanted to also add support for detecting the Silk browser acceleration, so we updated all of the libraries a second time to add the Silk browser support.

Here is the specific list of updates which affects the following libraries: PHP, JavaScript, Java, ASP.NET (both variants), and Python.

  • Updated DetectRichCSS(): Excluded e-Ink Kindle devices, which all run black and white displays.
  • Created DetectAmazonSilk(): Created to detect Kindle Fire devices in Silk mode.
  • Updated DetectMobileQuick(): Updated to include e-Ink Kindle devices and the Kindle Fire in Silk mode.

Open Issue: Currently, the Android-based Kindle Fire browser is detected as a Rich CSS Tier device when in Silk mode. When Silk mode is off (i.e., normal Android browsing mode), then the device is currently reporting itself as an Android phone. (This is common behavior for 7″ Android tablets.) We’re not sure that this is the best strategy for Silk mode — should Silk mode be in the Rich CSS or basic mobile device category alongside feature phones? Please let us know your feedback.

As always, if you’d like updates on MobileESP, subscribe to the changes log on Google Code.

– Anthony

Owner of the MobileESP project. For the latest source code downloads, visit: https://github.com/ahand/mobileesp

Posted in Code Updates, General, MobileESP APIs
2 comments on “MobileESP: Updated for Kindle
  1. The Kindle Fire browser should be detected at least as a Rich CSS tier device — perhaps even as a tablet?

  2. Anthony Hand says:

    Thanks for the note, Timothy. I’ve updated the blog post to clarify that the Silk mode is detected as RichCSS Tier. When the device is browsing normally (Silk mode off), then it detects as a normal Android mobile phone, which means that it reports in the iPhone Tier.