Web development for iPad

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Since its launch in 2010, the iPad has taken the world by storm. It soon became clear that people are choosing to browse the web more and more with their iPad. But what does this mean for web development? Creating a website for an iPad isn’t the same as creating a website for a regular sized computer (even if an iPad has a similar screen size), nor is it the same as creating a website for an iPhone or other smartphone device. Web development has to change and this is how:

  • redirection: Implementing a “user agent string” when looking at web development for the iPad is very useful, since you have a “device discovery script” on your server. This code, when selecting the device used online, will redirect mobile phones and iPads to a more user-friendly website.
  • CSS: It is now possible to specify CSS codes only for the iPad. This allows you to have a different CSS in place when the iPad is being held in portrait or landscape orientation without having to use JavaScript.
  • HTML5 and CS3: Since the iPad supports both platforms, it allows web developers to go all out when it comes to the layout and overall appearance of the web page. The content of an iPad-friendly website can be very similar to the content of a website developed for a regular PC, unlike websites that are fit for smartphones. Using box shadows, text shadows, multiple backgrounds, video, and even geolocation will result in fines on your iPad. JavaScript: Another iPad supported platform, JavaScript will allow web developers of an iPad compatible website to take advantage of Web 2.0 features, animations, etc.
  • flash: Unfortunately, trying to integrate Flash into your iPad compatible website will not be in vain, as iPads do not support Flash systems.
  • touch screen: Always keeping this common feature in mind when doing web development for an iPad compatible website is essential to its success. Developers need to make sure there is enough “blank space” between links to reduce the chance of accidentally clicking on the wrong link. They also have to make sure that the buttons themselves are big enough to press.

One of the most important web development lessons learned thanks to the introduction and popularity of the iPad is that just because a website is iPhone-friendly doesn’t mean it’s going to be the same for the iPad. It is always better to develop a whole new website to redirect iPads to.

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