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User-agent-utils 1.16 released

The user-agent-utils library had another update with the usual mix of updates and improvements.

Changes in 1.16:

  • iOS 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 and 9 added
  • Chrome, Firefox and Opera updated with latest versions
  • Xbox OS and Internet Explorer for Xbox added
  • Improved CFNetwork browser detection
  • Added Vivaldi browser
  • Improved Windows 10 detection
  • Improved bot detection
  • Added Android 5 tablet detection
  • Performance improvements

User-agent-utils now at Maven Central


For a long time users had been requesting that the user-agent-utils library becomes available at the central maven repository instead of the Github hosted solution I was offering. So far the effort of setting it up and configuring maven kept me from spending time on it. When I wanted to release the 1.14 version I noticed, that the Github maven integration that I had didn’t work any longer. So, instead of trying to fix that, I finally decided to add the project to the central repository for open source projects and am happy to announce, that the most recent user-agent-utils version is now available at the Central Repository. Due to a requirement of the central repository the group id had to be changed from ‘bitwalker’ to ‘eu.bitwalker’.
In order to use the latest version, change the maven dependency in the pom.xml to:


User-agent-utils 1.14 released

I am pleased to announce another maintenance release of the user-agent-utils with the usual updates of operating system and browser versions, as well as some performance improvements.

Change log:

  • IOS8 support added
  • added Opera Coast as new mobile browser
  • more Chrome and Firefox versions added, including future releases (up to Firefox 40 and Chrome 40)
  • added 3 Opera versions
  • performance improvements

This release includes contributions from Pavel Sher, johndydo and frankdev.

Inbox email optimization with teasers

Some email clients like Gmail and the email application on the iPhone are displaying a short snippet of each email next to the sender and subject on the list page of the inbox. Outlook users can enable this behavior by enabling the AutoPreview function. These snippets use the first text that appears in the HTML version of the email. Often emails are starting with a text and link to an online version of the email or the option to unsubscribe. Such texts as snippet in the inbox are hardly an invitation to open the email and are even more likely to have a negative effect.

Inbox view on the iPhone with snipped text

Inbox view on the iPhone with snippet text

With a simple trick it is possible to include a special teaser text in the email that will be use for the snippet without actually being displayed in the email itself. This can be achieved by adding an invisible DIV-element with the teaser text as first element of the HTML body.

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As Gmail ignores the inline style sheet parameters for display and visibility, it is necessary to set the font-size to zero to avoid any extra white-space. Tests have shown that other common email clients won’t display the teaser text when the email is being opened.

iPhone inbox view with teaser text

iPhone inbox view with teaser text

Both Gmail as well as the Apple Mail application on the iPhone are displaying about 90 characters of this teaser text. In Outlook the amount of characters depends on the width of the inbox list.

Outlook 2007 Windows with teaser text

Outlook 2007 Windows with teaser text

With this simple change to your email template it is possible to add a teaser text with extra information or a call-to-action to increase the open rate of the email campaign.

This article was originally written for the August edition of the Tripolis Newsletter.