In the latest official Inside BlackBerry interview we have RIM introducing us to Matthew, the manager of the Browser & Web Platform team at RIM. Many of you may remember Matthew from the previous official browsing video demos RIM has released. He heads the team that is designing the browsing experience on the PlayBook and assisted in building the BlackBerry 6 WebKit browser.
You should check out the whole interview at Inside BlackBerry though it simply stresses the fact that RIM sees websites as soon being equivalent to apps. Matthew shares with us some of the things developers should keep in mind while developing the PlayBook though I wish RIM would simply release the results of a test like www.html5test.com.
Here are some tips Matthew shared with developers for the PlayBook:
- Follow Web standards when designing your content.
- Do not use obsolete standards like WML, XHTML-MP.
- Keep in mind tablet interaction mechanisms. Generally, there is no mouse and no hover on tablets as they are usually purely touch-based devices. Design for touch screen interaction. Keep in mind the size of hit targets when designing buttons and other UI, and pay attention to the implementation of touch events and gestures. Each platform handles these events slightly differently.
- Be conscious of the screen size and resolution when developing your content if you are using fixed size elements.
- It’s best to avoid using framesets. On some platforms, frames get flattened out which can be unexpected and changes the layout of the entire page. On other platforms that don’t flatten, frames are difficult to interact with for zooming and scrolling.
- If you want fine-tuned control of your content, you can use meta-tags, like the viewport meta-tag to control layout size and zooming behavior.
- Avoid using popups. They are just annoying.
- Consider how you want your site to look under both landscape and portrait orientations.