Schema Updates

Hot Air Balloon, Fire in the Hole

From March 18 we’ll be rolling out enhancements to the Handset Detection schema and re-jigging many of the device profiles.

Firstly, we’ll be adding HTML5 and CSS3 attributes into our device database – Yay ! We’ve had this on the radar for a while now, so we’re really happy to be shipping this enhancement. The fields will be hd_specs.general_browser_html5 and hd_specs.general_browser_css3. Each field will contain an array of features supported by this device. We’ll also be adding hd_specs.general_browser_csspixelratio for high-res and retina displays.

Secondly, we’ll be re-jigging many popular handset profiles to do a better job of breaking out raw handset model information. For example, currently we roll all the information for the Samsung Galaxy S3 into one profile, and in that profile we keep all the various different model numbers (Samsung sch-i939, Samsung GT-I9300, Samsung GT-I9308, Samsung SCH-i535, Samsung SGH-I747, Samsung SCH-R530, Samsung SPH-L710, T-Mobile Galaxy S III, SGH-T999, SGH-T999v, SHV-E210s, SHW-M440s, shv-e210k, shv-e210l) and the specs associated with that handset family. However this approach makes it difficult to separate out each model. So we’ll be changing that up to make finer grained detection possible by creating new profiles for each model. The current field hd_specs.general_aliases will become the retail name(s) of the device, in this case ‘Samsung Galaxy S3′ and hd_specs.general_model will become the manufacturer’s model name. Note : Multiple device profiles may now may share the same hd_specs.general_aliases field.

Got any ideas for enhancements or updates ? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks & Happy Detecting

API Kit Updates

Flower

Just a quick note. New updates are available for the ASP.NET (3.5 and 4.0) and Java API kits. Both updates fix bugs in local device detection. The ASP.NET kits had a bug which prevented some ‘x-’ http headers being checked for a detection and the Java kit had a caching issue which significantly hampered performance.

Download URLS are ASP.NET Device Detection API Kits and Java Device Detection API Kit .

If you’re using local device detection we recommend you upgrade.

We’ve also taken the opportunity to run a few benchmarks on local device detection.

PHP 5.3 – 600 detections per second.

ASP.NET 3.5 & 4.0 – 2000 detections per second.

Java 1.6 – 2800 detections per second.

All tests are single threaded using one instance of the detection object on a 2.7Ghz Core i7 MacBook Pro.(Using Parallels for the ASP.NET tests).

Happy Detecting

Cheers

Richard

Updated Licence Conditions for Site Licences

Over the last 2 months I’ve been collecting feedback on our licencing terms for site licences.

Originally when the initial Beta version of our stand alone device detection product launched it was a flat fee per domain. Got 25 servers, and one domain, then you would buy just one licence. This prompted a number of high end customers to go ‘Wow ? How come you’re selling it so cheap ? Is it just as good a A, B or C ? Why isn’t this $5k or $10k?” Quietly I noted their comments. Its a world class product, without a world class price!

When it came time to do a formal official release I changed the pricing model from per domain to per server. After all, this is how the big end of town charges, and who really wants to under price themselves?

After the announcement I received lots of questions, mainly from existing customers, some that have been with us since we launched in 2008. (Thanks everyone for your feedback by the way, I really appreciate it and its helped shape this policy change today). The question that still sticks in my mind came from one of our customers in the UK : To paraphrase “How do you charge us for a site licence if we’re hosting in the cloud ?” Its a great question, and I really had no straightforward answer. At that time I made a few poor snap decisions like equating licence numbers to average cloud instances. I mean, who wants or even knows how to work that out? The whole point of the cloud is to get away from that. Plus, as it turns out, over half our site licences do go to customers hosted in the cloud.

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise for foisting weird licence terms on anyone that’s made a licence purchase. So, to make things simpler, I’ve overhauled the licencing terms. Here are the new terms:

Licences are charged at the cheaper of per server, or per site. Lets say you you have 100 sites running on 4 servers then you would need 4 licences. If you have 1 site running on 5 servers, or in the cloud, then you would need just 1 licence.

I hope that makes things simpler and more straight forward.

As always if you have any concerns or questions then feel free to contact me.

Thanks and Happy Detecting!

Cheers,

Richard

 

Custom date ranges on mobile stats

Scott wrote in a month ago and let me know that we really should have custom date ranges on stats. Fair call too! Today custom date ranges on mobile stats goes live. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Got any more ideas for features you’d like to see ? Then let me know below.

Happy Detecting

Mobile Device Editor and More

We’ve been trialing user submitted device corrections for the last 4 weeks and I am pleased to announce its now time to open this feature up to a larger group of testers. If you would like to take part please drop an email to hello@handsetdetection.com and we’ll enable this on your account.

So how does it work ? (you ask) Good question ! When you’re logged in and viewing devices in the Handset List you’ll get the red ‘Edit In Place’ border around any editable devices. Click any field to change the field into a text input, type your change and hit Enter. A background process will send your update into our pending queue for approval. Most approvals happen by the next business day.

The editor will allow you to submit device pictures as well.

A much requested feature, auto complete, on the sites redirection rules creator, also made it into the last release. You can type two characters then wait for it to kick in, or, if you’re impatient like me then hit the down arrow to force the look up.

Thanks everyone for your feature suggestions. It really helps to build a better service.

Happy Detecting.

Europe: Now Detecting

I’m really excited to announce that today our European site goes live at Hetzner. The magic numbers for those of you with firewalls and so forth are 46.4.69.247. We’ve seen some pretty rapid growth in Europe lately, Germany in particular, so we wanted to do everything possible to make the service even fast for you.

Apikits and Javascriptlets are usually downloaded from api.handsetdetection.com. To prefer our EU site over the US sites change api.handsetdetection.com to api-eu1.handsetdetection.com and the magic will take care of itself.

As part of the transition to the EU we will be removing our Codero site (216.55.143.194) on February 28th 2011.

Happy Detecting.

Updates & Plan Changes.

Yesterday, in the wee hours of the US morning, an update hit the servers. The two major points are a sensible consolidation in your profile page and plan changes.

The Sites link has vanished from the top nav and been combined into your profile.  In most cases, you’re logging in to check on stats or create new sites – so putting that in the one place seems sane. :)

New Profile Page

New Pricing

On the plan front, two new high end plans have been added. The Huge plan, $285 per month for 6.5 million detections and the Jumbo, $547 per month for 13 million detections.

As part of spring housekeeping, next week on the 12th October, soft limits and OpenID support will be removed. Neither of those ideas really got traction in the way that I hoped they would (yep, 17 signups using OpenID in 2 years, if you’re one of the 17 .. sorry).

The next major release scheduled for Oct 12 will be bumped to the Oct 26. This release is going to be awesome !! Im super excited – it features viewable device history, handset images and a sweet Javascript device editor so you can create and update new handsets and handset capabilities.

As always, if you have any questions then drop me an email.

Cheers,
Richard
richard@handsetdetection.com.

Internet Explorer Mobile version updates.

We’re making some changes to the way we classify Windows Mobile devices which may effect you.

Presently we classify these windows mobiles as follows :

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 6.8) as Windows Mobile OS 5.0 with Internet Explorer Mobile 6.8

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) as Windows Mobile OS 6.1 with Internet Explorer Mobile 7.11

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 6.12) as Windows Mobile OS 6.0 with Internet Explorer Mobile 6.12

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 8.12; MSIEMobile 6.0) as Windows Mobile OS 6.0 with Internet Explorer Mobile 8.12

Essentially relying on the IEMobile part of the string to tell us the version of IE. From the 10th June 2010 we’ll be making the following changes and bringing the browser more or less inline with the operating system :

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 6.8) as Windows Mobile OS 5.0 with Internet Explorer Mobile 5.0

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) as Windows Mobile OS 6.1 with Internet Explorer Mobile 6.1

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 6.12) as Windows Mobile OS 6.0 with Internet Explorer Mobile 6.0

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 8.12; MSIEMobile 6.0) as Windows Mobile OS 6.5 (or 6.0) with Internet Explorer Mobile 6.5

This seems a sane way to renumber the browser releases and brings them into line with how microsoft publically refers to the their Internet Explorer Mobile versions.

Thanks to Jonathan for bringing up an erroneous classification in the forums which triggered the broader investigation.

Our new helpdesk is Zendesk

Were moving to Zendesk

Quietly, in the background, since Christmas, we’ve been analyzing, installing and generally fooling around with nearly a dozen leading help desk systems. We’ve been installing, tweaking, breaking, emailing, emailing and emailing (bueller…). Most have their strengths and weaknesses, some just seemed to have weaknesses. The most important thing is that we’ve chosen a winner, and that’s Zendesk.

Zendesk just had more awesome, so in the end it was an easy decision. We’re excited to be plugging Zendesk into Handset Detection and we’ll be switching on Zendesk Wednesday Feb 10 in the morning, after coffee (GMT + 11).

What does this mean to you ?

Some of you will be in the middle of an email support conversation. When we flick the switch you’ll get a trouble ticket email saying ‘Thanks for your request …’, which might seem weird because, well, obviously we know about your request, but Zendesk doesnt. So just wanted to point that out.

We’ll also be moving our forum to Zendesk on Tuesday the 16th (GMT +11). The old forum will linger on for a while, we’ll move the more interesting posts across and then switch the old forum off.

We hope the new helpdesk is a great experience and, as always, let us know how you get on.