Sprint launch OpenWave transcoder

Over the next 30-days Sprint will be performing a US-wide launch of OpenWeb. This is OpenWave’s browser that transcodes web content for the small screens and limited memory of mobile handsets.

OpenWeb changes a web page’s markup, size and layout on the fly without a user session. So users should find that non-mobile web sites are displayed much better without any interruption.

 The good news is that this transcoder will default to ‘mobile friendly’, so only obviously non-mobile sites will be transcoded, leaving mobile optimised sites alone.

 However if you should see any issues when browsing your mobile site then you can log this with Sprint on their ‘Sprint Application Developer Program’ web site. Go to http://developer.sprint.com and post your issue in the ‘Wireless Web and Messaging’ forum.

Here are some hints from Sprint on how you can ensure your mobile site is seen as mobile optimised and is bypassed by the transcoder:

1. Do not use user-agent values for already known browsers in your applications
2. Use well-known prefixes, e.g. wap.*, or TLDs, e.g. *.mobi, for mobile sites
3. Offer mobile content description files through HTTP GET mechanisms
4. Rely on well-known file extensions to describe mobile content, e.g. JAD/JAR, etc.
5. If in doubt, register your high-volume mobile web-site with Sprint Nextel
6. Should your applications need to have the user-agent value reported to the receiving server, it is recommended that you inject the user-agent header using the following format:
<App Vendor Name>/<App ID>/<App Version>;<Original Phone Browser User-Agent> 

Please discuss yout thoughts and experiences of this over on our community forum.

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