UC news

There is some news about the UC browser — the important one that nobody but me has ever heard of. (OK, that’s an exaggeration — but not by much.) Astonish your peers by being better informed than them.

UC is now available for Windows. Equally importantly, this Windows version is Chromium-based; Chromium 48, to be exact. It’s now at version 5.6, so apparently they’re using a different versioning system for their Windows and Android builds.

Speaking of UC for Android, which is at version 10.10, has it also gone over to Chromium? No, it hasn’t. It’s still WebKit-based, even though you can set the UA string to a “desktop version” that claims, falsely, that it’s Chromium 31. (Where can you find that setting? I’ll leave that for you to find out. Searching through an unknown browser’s setting system is an excellent way of developing more awareness for non-Chrome browsers.)

And how am I so certain that the Windows version is Chromium while the Android version is WebKit? My current tracer is the pointer media query, which is supported in Chromium but not in WebKit. UC on Windows supports it; UC on Android doesn’t. (Incidentally, this test also allowed me to unmask the Dolphin browser for Android, which claims it’s Chromium 33 but lies: it fails the pointer test.)

Also, there was a drop in UC’s market share on StatCounter last month, while “Chrome” (which means all Chromia except for the Samsung ones) rose. At first I thought it had something to do with the UC for Windows (misdetected as Chrome for Android?), but that turns out not to be the case.

Instead, StatCounter figured out that some UC versions sent out two requests for one page load, and were thus counted twice. (Why? It could be an honest mistake. It could also be that UC wants to end up higher in the stats because web developers don’t care about it otherwise.) See the note in Week 24 for more information.

Anyway, now you’re up to speed with the UC news. Download and test!

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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