Kill SharePoint 2010 Mobile Interface

Joel Oleson May 8, 2012 0

I’ve always thought the word kill comes on a little strong, but at the same time… I think it gets the point across.  I’ve been very big into mobile lately and SharePoint’s default mobile WAP interface is driving me crazy.  About 5 months ago I wrote about some of my experiences: SharePoint For Mobile – Yes we can!

It’s also not the first time I’ve said “SharePoint Defaults have Faults.”   I’ve found we are missing out on more valuable mobile experiences with SharePoint because the mobile interface is on by default in SharePoint 2010.  Ironically there is a hidden feature to turn on mobile support, I say turn on because it is off by default.  In SharePoint 2007 you could turn on the feature, now that feature is hidden, and oh by the way… it’s useless.  Just ignore it.  Essentially in SharePoint 2010 you need to work your way up the stack.  There are essentially two ways to turn off the mobile browsing interface in SharePoint.  It’s the most annoying interface.  The experience is horrible for Intranets (no webparts), very sad for publishing sites (no content management), and not even decent at best at collaboration sites (no good info outside of lists).  I have to even wonder if there’s someone in India that is appreciating it right now with their old school flip phone.  People are NOT using WAP phones, those old text based phones to hit SharePoint anyway  I now get 4% mobile traffic and less than 1% of that is WAP the strong majority is smart.  They are using their Androids, iPhones, Windows Phone 7.  Smart phones recently took over as the most popular in the world.  I’m ready to declare victory over the old WAP phones and tell everyone to turn it off… You are losing people because there is NO easy way to browse to SharePoint by default on your phone without getting a bad experience.  It requires the Administrator to turn off the WAP interface.

TURN IT OFF

  • Modify the web.config in the root of the web app
    • Add three lines of code that set all browsers to not be redirected
    • Does not allow for browsers to be handled individually
    • File is on the server in C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\PORT\bin folder of your SharePoint site, where PORT is the port of your site
    • Add this section right before the close tag: </system.web>
    • Code to add:
      • <browserCaps>
        <result type="System.Web.Mobile.MobileCapabilities, System.Web.Mobile, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a"/>
        <filter>isMobileDevice=false</filter>
        </browserCaps>

TURN IT OFF Selectively by USER AGENT

  • Redirect based on User Agent: compat.browser – This file lists all of the browser User Agent strings that it will redirect
    • Changing a value from true to false for all of them will cause it to NOT redirect those browsers
    • Allows for flexibility in switching some browsers back if needed
    • Allows more browsers to be added in the future
    • This may be hammered during any SP update
    • File is commonly at C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirutalDirectories\80\App_Browsers\compat.browser  (Modify the path based on your webapp)
    • Code to change (for each User Agent):
      • <capability name="isMobileDevice" value="false" />

Example of a few phones this was built for:

  • Pocket Internet Explorer in Microsoft Windows Mobile (as in pre-Windows Phone)
  • The Nocki WAP 2.0 browser (xHTML only)
  • Motorola Mobile Information Browser 2.2 or later
  • Operwave UP browser 6.2 or 7.0

Can I turn it off on one site?  I don’t think so.  If you come across the hidden feature exposed through STSADM and Powershell…  that’s fine in SharePoint 2007, but I have not found success with it in 2010.  I’ll list it here for someone to correct me if I’m wrong.

Windows Powershell

·         Disable-SPFeature -Identity MobilityRedirect -Url http://yoursite

STSADM

·         stsadm -o activatefeature -name MobilityRedirect -URL http://site

 

While SharePoint for Mobile sounds like a bad experience, it doesn’t have to be.  The default masterpage, and even those that are written should have mobile in mind.  I end up using SharePoint rich with mobile on occasion, it’s not bad when an admin has turned off the horrible “mobile” WAP interface.  One of these days I’m going to make a masterpage that’s designed for mobile phones.  I’m making sure our internal masterpages are tested with mobile devices.    Interest in that?  Let me know.  I’ve considered partnering with Heather Waterman or someone cool like that.

 All our internet facing stuff has had the mobile interface turned off, now after a meeting today we are turning it off on ALL our web apps… no exceptions.

 

If you’re looking for a real rich experience you should check out a few of the product reviews recently I’ve done.  Harmon.ie launched their product this week, and Colligo launched a couple of months ago.  Both of them are pretty sweet.

·         Product Review: harmon.ie Mobile – SharePoint on the GO on your Terms!

·         Product Review: Colligo Briefcase – Secure SharePoint Sync on your Terms

 

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