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Additional resources for Developing Modern Mobile Web Apps
X clipping regions. This technique relies on a much older CSS specification, but is unfortunately poorly supported on certain mobile browsers. Using CSS sprites CSS sprites are individual images (such as icons or common brand elements) that have been grouped within a single bitmap image file (called a sprite sheet). An example of a CSS sprite sheet. All icons are combined into a single bitmap file. This sprite sheet is then referenced within the style sheet as a background image. Each time one of these images is required, the sprite sheet is repositioned so that only the required sprite is displayed.
This creates an interesting problem. Devices with a high ppi may be quite crisp (which is considered a feature), but the content may be uncomfortably small (which would be considered a bug). Handset manufacturers compensate for this by setting an implicit viewport size. For example, while the Samsung Galaxy S2’s display is 480 x 800 pixels, the viewport has been adjusted to a dimension of 320 x 450 pixels to improve legibility. It’s important to respect these preset dimensions when developing your app.
This may work well with many photographs—especially those whose role is to simply embellish a piece of content—but it can have disastrous effects when images contain fine detail or provide information that is critical to the content. The example below shows the rendering of a chart graphic that was delivered to the device using a generic size, then simply scaled by the browser. Scaled by the browser The following example shows a chart graphic that has been custom-generated to suit the client’s screen size.
Developing Modern Mobile Web Apps by Microsoft