Kripes, do I REALLY have to make a mobile CartoonSmart now?

So it looks like I’ll slowly undertake the annoying task of cloning CartoonSmart and all its easy-to-layout-and-publish-Flash-files, and converting them to mobile friendly pages. Which is something I should have probably done a year or more ago, but with the iPad releasing soon, I would at least like to see SOME version of my site on there.

For those interested, I’m using a free script from http://detectmobilebrowsers.mobi/ (well, free for non-commercial sites, cash-money for sites like mine). That one page describes everything you need to do and has example files besides just the detection script, but I’ll share a couple things that stumbled me up with my server.

After uploading the free mobile_device_detect.php (thats step 1), I then created a php file to use this code…

<?php
include(‘mobile_device_detect.php’);
$mobile = mobile_device_detect();
// redirect all mobiles to mobile site and all other browsers to desktop site
if($mobile==true){
}else{
}
exit;
?>

It didn’t work. Grrrr. But I realized the detection script was for PHP5, and my server defaults to running all .php  files with PHP4. So the quick fix was just renaming the extension of the file that had that code above to .php5 . Note, I did NOT need to rename mobile_device_detect.php to anything else.  Just the php file with the include statement above, needed the .php5 extension.

And you can see the code above is pretty darn easy on the eyes even if you’ve never had experience with PHP. After the initial include statement, its basically just saying “If mobile is true, go here, else go there”.  Its just a fork in the road.

So thats in an index.php5 file. I changed my .htaccess file to go to that instead of the regular old index.html, and wha-la!  Two sites basically. The mobi version is far from done, I’m mostly just playing around right now so I’m obviously not linking to it in this article. Nor will I ever probably. My goal with the mobile version of CartoonSmart is just to appease myself with something other than a broken Flash icon. And again, I SHOULD have done this before, but honestly I didn’t really care that CartoonSmart wasn’t iPhone friendly. Whatever. Its a tiny little phone, who gives a sh*t. But I do see the frowny face I’ll be wearing when some relative or friend asks me why they can’t pull up my site on the iPad.

And for all you Flash developers out there with clients that are getting iPads this week, this is a great opportunity to make some extra cash by putting together a quick or not-so-quick mobile version of their site.

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9 thoughts on “Kripes, do I REALLY have to make a mobile CartoonSmart now?

  1. I see that now you are keep doing stuff for the iphone… What is happening ? Are you planning to leave flash for a while?

    What is this change of perspective I would really like to know:)

  2. One more thing apple is doing a big mistake with the iphone by not including flash here in Europe people are more interested in android phones then apple….

  3. CartoonSmart will still be a Flash site. I just decided I’d finally spend some time making a mobile version of the site. My friend got some Verizon phone that supports Flash, so of course I pulled up CartoonSmart on it, and it showed up, but only about 300 pixels of the middle of the site was viewable. It didn’t scale up or down at all.

    So that too made me realize I needed to work on it. But all I’m doing is setting up CartoonSmart.mobi . CartoonSmart.com is being left as is.

  4. Interesting that Tibi suggests that the iphone is supporting flash over in the US. Is this true? The reason I mention it is as the ipad seems to be a larger iphone, does that mean we won’t get flash support on that either (here in the UK)?

  5. Tyler says:

    Hey Justin, another option for a mobile site is to drop in some simple javascript in the title section of your HTML page that calls in a CSS file behind the flash page. You already have a lot if not all of your content embedded in the HTML of each page from what I can tell when I view the source, so it would be a relatively simple matter of cleaning that up with CSS to make it mobile friendly. Then when people visit with flash support they get the full experience with previews and everything else, and when they hit your site from a mobile device it just skips the flash which it can’t load and everything underneath is revealed. If you do it this way you can even specify different CSS files for different resolutions, then you end up with a 2 version mobile site, one for tablets that don’t support flash yet, and the other for smartphones that can really only efficiently display a single column of information. Just a thought I came up with when considering my own options for updating my site and I thought I would pass it along.

    The true benefit is that you could continue to publish once in flash, and then your CSS files are site wide and you just have to make sure the initial reference with the javascript gets embedded in each page. At that point it is truly a simple copy/paste action and you aren’t having to recreate every page as mobile friendly or stripping your site down to a “visit me on a real computer” page.

  6. Thanks Tyler, I kind of thought about that but it seemed like the more complicated solution. Albeit more reliable for catching those rare visitors with a phone that supports Flash. I think what I have in place now (which just redirects to the .mobi site) is bound to eventually pass a Flash-enabled phone to the non-Flash site. But thats kinda okay too.

    I’ve definitely reminded myself in the past couple days why I love developing in Flash so much. So much easier than chopping up images and putting them in DW.

  7. Tyler says:

    Haha, so true about the dreamweaver bit. Your blog does a nice job creating mobile friendly pages, but I guess thats a built in wordpress feature huh?

    The thing I have been playing with lately is trying to figure out a way to stream my cartoonsmart videos to my iphone remotely. There simply don’t seem to be any streaming apps that can take movies from a network drive or server and play them on the phone, and they are too big to store many (or even 5) directly on the phone. On top of that I would love to be able to access all my DVD’s I’ve ripped remotely. Anyhow, probably just a pipe dream until someone decides to do an ipad app, still doesn’t help the iphone crowd though.

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