IE9 Mobile Developer Overview

IE9 Mobile Developer Overview

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One of the most common questions that we field from web developers is “what does your browser support?”, or conversely “does your browser support ‘x’?”. The goal of this post is to answer those questions by outlining the advancements in the IE9 Mobile web platform and providing pointers to more detailed information.

It’s IE9!

As previously mentioned, as part of the Mango release we unified the code base for Internet Explorer across Windows and Windows Phone. This enabled us to make a huge leap forward in the platform, taking advantage of all of the latest and greatest work done in the Internet Explorer web platform.

It also means that the simplest way to answer the questions in the intro is: “It supports what IE9 supports!”. It also means the commitment to high-quality, interoperable implementations of Web standards (aka “same markup”) carries through to Windows Phone.

New web platform features in IE9 Mobile

In case you’re not familiar with recent advancements in Internet Explorer, here is a laundry list of new capabilities in the Mango web platform over what was provided in Windows Phone 7.

  • HTML5
    • Audio
    • Canvas
    • DOM Storage (Web Storage)
    • Geolocation
    • Selection APIs
    • Semantic Elements
    • Video
  • CSS
    • CSS 2.1 compliance
    • CSS3 2D Transforms
    • CSS3 Backgrounds & Borders
    • CSS3 Color
    • CSS3 Media Queries
    • CSS3 Namespaces
    • CSS3 Values and Units
    • CSS3 Selectors
  • DOM
    • DOM Core (L2 and L3) and Views (L2)
    • DOM Element Traversal
    • DOM L2 and L3 Events
    • DOM L2 HTML
    • DOM L2 Style
    • DOM L2 Traversal and Range
    • Enhanced DOM
    • Mutable DOM Prototypes
    • Selectors API
  • ECMAScript 5
  • SVG 1.1 (Second Edition)
    • Most document structure, interactivity and styling
    • Basic shapes
    • Filling, stroking, marker, color
    • Patterns
    • Paths
    • Text
  • XHTML5
  • Miscellaneous
    • Cross-domain request (XDR)
    • Data URI support
    • Native JSON support
    • SVG in HTML

While that is a long list (whew!), it is actually not a complete one (for the sake of keeping this blog post to a reasonable length). For a more comprehensive look at the platform support in IE9 Mobile, simply refer to the following Internet Explorer documentation (the real beauty of having the same platform is shorter blog posts!), minus a few specific sections which I’ve called out below the links:

Mobile-specific platform features in IE9 Mobile

As you can see from the list above, the web platforms across PC and phone are essentially the same. However, in order to provide a great mobile web experience, the IE9 Mobile platform supports the following capabilities that are not present on IE9 for Windows:

  • <meta name=”viewport”> support: this tag is used to set the width and other properties on the browser viewport. See our previous post or the MSDN article linked below for more details.
  • -ms-text-size-adjust support: this CSS property is used to control the scaling applied to text on webpages to make it more readable.

You can read more details about mobile-specific behaviors and differences in the Web Development for Windows Phone topic on MSDN.

Just the beginning!

This post serves as a high-level overview showing the big improvements to the IE9 Mobile web platform in Mango. In upcoming blog posts, we will be diving into much more detail on these new capabilities. Also keep in mind that IE9 on Windows and Windows Phone share much more than just Web standards support – from security features to fully GPU-accelerated HTML5 using DirectX graphics APIs. More details to come on that front too!

Charles Morris
Program Manager Lead, Windows Phone

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  • Hi, could you pls. give me some training PPT about IE mobile on windows phone? thanks a lot

  • I was recently reading a weblog entry by Ben Vanik (former Microsoft Live Labs developer) about a simple image pyramid demo that he wrote in 500 lines of Javascript:

    I fired up his demo in IE9 on my laptop and it works very well indeed.

    I then fired it up in IE 9 Mobile and it did not work. At all.

    So, my question is, "Why not?"

    Ben says that the demo just requires Javascript and GPU accelerated HTML5 Canvas, which your post above would seem to claim that you support, so where are things going wrong?

    If anyone on the IE Mobile team wants to step up and engage, your efforts would be appreciated here as that would mean that at least one excellent programmer inside of Google would be aware of how to get good results from IE Mobile.

  • I must second ColinEberhardt comment about the grey box. If you take a look at the jquerymobile demo  in IE9 on WP7 you will see that anything clicked has a grey box put around it. This looks terrible for rounded buttons and text boxes. In all other browsers on all other devices the demo looks fine. I really like Metro but I feel it is being forced upon web sites where it does not belong.

    Please give us the ability to turn it off - preferably in the pages.

  • Great stuff!

    On the subject of "Mobile-specific platform features in IE9 Mobile", will you provide a way of disabling the current functionality where links are highlighted by a gray box when clicked? This seriously hampers the use of the browser for the creation of HTML5 web applications.

  • Will a version of IE10 ever be available on Windows Phone?

  • thed
    3 Posts

    Apparently I didn't post the official link. Here it is:

  • thed
    3 Posts

    @blahism: That's great that it passes Acid 3, but Acid 2 is a 5 year old CSS compliance test. I don't see why it shouldn't render the test correctly.

    @abm: Maybe they do but something about the rendering is different. Try it on your desktop, and then try it on your phone. Unless IE is changing between Beta 2 and RTM, they are clearly not the same code.

  • abm
    268 Posts

    @thed, IE9 on PC and Phone, both shares the same code-base.

    IE-Team, can you confirm the ETA on the fix of this issue: Would it be fixed till IE10's GA-RTW?

  • blahism
    14 Posts

    @thed, wasn't it Acid3 that MS got compliance for?  i got 100/100 on Acid3 on my mango phone

  • thed
    3 Posts

    This sounds great, but why doesn't IE9 on the phone pass Acid2? IE9 on the desktop does!