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Giving Tablet Users the full-sized web

The invention of tablets following Google’s recommendations for building smartphone-optimized websites has posed a question as to “how to best treat tablet devices?” In turn, Google created the “Building Quality Tablet Apps” – a guide to creating websites that fit best on tablet device.

Google advised that it doesn’t have specific suggestions regarding how one can design a search engine friendly tablet-optimized website but advised that there are several tips for building for building websites that serve smartphone and tablet users well.

It’s of paramount importance for site owners to consider their audience/visitors’ using tablets whenever they are creating sites. Tablets have huge screens compared to smartphones, they are habitually used on WiFi connections and offer a browsing experience that can be so rich as any desktop or laptop machine in a more mobile, lightweight and generally more convenient package.

What does this imply for Website owners?

 What it means is that if site owners provide tablet-optimized content, users expect to see their (website owners) desktop site rather than their site’s smartphone site. Google’s advice to smartphone-optimized sites is that they should employ “responsive web design”

And this entails that there is one website to serve all devices.

If a web owner has a website that makes use of responsive design, they should make sure it serves them well too. Just like smartphones, there are a variety of device sizes and screen resolutions to test; another alternative is to have separate sites for desktops and smartphones let alone redirecting users o the relevant version. Webmasters who use configuration should be cautious not to inadvertently redirect tablet users to the smartphone-optimized site too.

Informing Android smartphones and tablets apart

 For Android-based devices, it’s painless to differentiate between smartphones and tablets using the user-agent string supplied by browsers. In a nutshell, any Android device that does not have the word “Mobile” in the user-agent is a tablet (or other large screen) device that is best served the desktop site.