Responsive Website Design for Mobile Smartphone and Tablet Websites
Google recently announced their recommendations for building smartphone-optimised websites which has raised questions by webmasters as to the best approach for tablet devices.
An important factor to remember is that tablets offer a browsing experience on par with any desktop or laptop so unless you offer tablet-optimised content, users will expect to see your desktop site rather than your smartphone site.
• For smartphone optimised sites, a recommendation is to use responsive web design allowing you to have a single site that works across all devices. It is important to test responsive web design sites on a variety of devices to ensure screen size and screen resolution is not compromised.
• An alternative is to have 2 separate sites for desktops and smartphones. Simply redirect users to the relevant site and also ensure that tablet users are not redirected to the smartphone optimised site.
How to differentiate between smartphone and tablet users
The user-agent string supplied by browsers is the simple way to know the difference however, tablets and android smartphones will include the word ‘android’ in the user-agent string but only the user–agent of smartphones will include the word ‘mobile’, so any android device that at does not have the word ‘mobile’ in the user-agent is a tablet.
More information can be found on the Relevance Tablet and Ipad page