Sharepoint mobile solutions: Windows Tiles On Mobile Screen

Targeting content at mobile devices in SharePoint 2013

The ever increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets has brought about many changes in the way consumers use technology. For example ‘Apps’ have in many cases replaced websites. Email, Twitter and Facebook are quickly overtaking more traditional forms of communication like text messaging. More fundamentally though, more people are now accessing the Internet on the move rather than from a desktop computer.

This shift to a mobile Internet has profound implications for websites and web design. It is no longer OK to consider mobile versions of website as an afterthought.  After years of largely ignoring this area, Microsoft seems to have woken up to the issue with the release of SharePoint 2013.

Optimising SharePoint with Mobile Device Channels

For the first time SharePoint mobile platform ​allows different master pages to be served up depending on the device that is accessing the site. This functionality is called 'device channels.' In effect it allows different mobile users to see different versions of a page.

In order to configure devices channels you need to activate/deactivate the following site features:

  • Publishing - Activate
  • Mobile View - Deactivate
  • Wiki Page Home Page - Deactivate
Once you have done this you will need to create a specific 'mobile' master page and a corresponding device channel. A device channel is basically a set of rules that target a specific mobile browser. In the master page settings you then simply assign the new device channel to your new master page.


In effect this process is customising the 'mobile view' of SharePoint pages for different mobile users. The standard mobile view feature is still available and is very similar to the version that shipped with SharePoint 2010.

Other Sharepoint Mobile Features

Devices channels and mobiles views aren’t the only considerations when it comes to designing mobile ready websites. Things like the use of JavaScript, file sizes and content length also need to be considered. But they are a good addition to the developers tool kit and a welcome new feature of a more mobile device friendly SharePoint 2013.