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Standard platform, operating system and browser recommendations (December 17)

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Standard Platform, Operating System and Browser Recommendations

Introduction

The following post updates our recommendations for platforms, operating systems and browsers to use when testing commercial web sites targeting consumers in Europe.

Our recommendations are based on usage figures widely available on the Internet, our experience, and our analysis of client needs. Since browser versions change frequently, we review and update these recommendations regularly.

Assumptions

  • The majority of users receive new versions of Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge and Safari automatically.
  • New versions cannibalise the market share of old versions within three to six months.
  • Significant differences in web page display between versions are few and far between.

List of latest stable releases

Desktop browsers

  • Windows 7: Microsoft Internet Explorer (MS-IE) 11
  • Windows 8.1: Microsoft Internet Explorer (MS-IE) 11
  • Windows 10: Microsoft Edge 41 / EdgeHTML 16
  • Chrome 63
  • Firefox (FF) 57 (‘Firefox Quantum’)
  • Safari 11

Mobile and tablet browsers

  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • iOS 11

Recommendations

General

  • Invest in the future, not the past. Focus project time and effort on optimising web sites for the next 6-9 months while making sure that popular older combinations are still viewable.
  • Use a range of mainstream devices to ensure coverage of most regular users’ everyday experience.
  • Avoid testing with specific minor releases unless there are compelling reasons to do so. Here’s an example of a compelling reason: a third-party augmented reality (AR) component is known to work with Safari 11.0.1 but not with Safari 11.0.2.
  • Do not invest in an operating system / browser combination if support is discontinued by the manufacturer. E.g. Google Chrome on Windows XP.
  • Do not support beta-release operating systems and browsers. Allow new versions time to stabilise, be released and become mainstream first, e.g. Android 8.0 Oreo. We define ‘mainstream’ as above 5% market share.

PC operating system recommendations

  • Test with Windows 7.
  • Test with Windows 8.1.
  • Test with Windows 10.

PC browser recommendations

  • Low priority: Test with MS-IE 11 on Windows 7.
  • Test with MS-IE 11 on Windows 8.1.
  • Test with MS-Edge on Windows 10.
  • Test with Chrome latest release only.
  • Test with Firefox (FF) latest release only.
  • Do not test with Opera. Market penetration is too low.

Mac desktop operating system recommendations

  • Low priority: Test with OS/X 10.11 El Capitan.
  • Test with macOS 10.12 Sierra.
  • Test with macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

Mac desktop browser recommendations

  • Low priority: Test with Safari 10.
  • Test with Safari 11.
  • Test with Chrome latest release only.
  • Do not test with Firefox. Market penetration is too low.

General mobile and tablet platform recommendations

  • Always test with the native browser.
  • Test in both landscape & portrait modes.

Apple mobile and tablet platform recommendations

  • Low priority: Test with iOS 10 using the Safari browser and Chrome browser (latest release).
  • Test with iOS 11 using the Safari browser and Chrome browser (latest release).

Android mobile and tablet platform recommendations

  • Do not test with Android 4.1, 4.2 or 4.3 Jelly Bean. Market penetration is low and falling.
  • Test with Android 4.4 KitKat using the native browser only.
  • Low priority: Test with Android 5.0 Lollipop using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 5.1 Lollipop using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 6.0 Marshmallow using the native browser only.
  • Test with Android 7.0 Nougat using the native browser only. Market penetration is still too low to justify testing with both 7.0 and 7.1.
  • Consider testing with Android 8 Oreo. Market penetration is still very low, but expected to rise in 2018.

Other mobile and tablet platform recommendations

  • Strongly consider testing with Chrome browser (latest release) if not native.
  • Consider testing on all platforms with Yandex Browser if targeting Russia.
  • Do not test with Firefox, Opera or any other non-native third-party mobile browser variants on any mobile or tablet platform. Market penetration is not significant. Exception: Consider testing with UC Browser and Opera Mini/Mobile browsers if targeting Asia.
  • Consider testing with Windows 10 Mobile only if penetration is significant in your target market.

Thanks for reading. Got comments? Questions? Let us know!

Sources


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