The mobile experience has greatly improved in SharePoint 2013 versus previous versions. It used to be that you got text and hyperlinks for all browser versions, now you get a very similar experience to your regular browser. As well the new version of mobile access allows you to create different Master Page/Page Layouts based on browser type or other characteristics for Publishing sites. By default there is one channel that will look great for all Microsoft browsers as well covers all supported browsers.
Before we even start configuring anything we need to plan for what browsers we will support, as we had discussed you need to decide as a group which mobile browsers to support so that you can target them and provide the best experience. Here is a list of browsers that are supported, please make sure your browsers are in that list
Mobile device browsers supported in SharePoint 2013
Now we can start thinking about how we are going to design the experience and that can be broken into two different experiences
1. Publishing Site
Publishing sites use device channels to allow you to provide the same experience on a tablet or phone (Much smaller real estate then desktop browser) we can also target the different types of browsers based on the user agent string we can have different page layouts and different Master Pages to insure that all devices provide the best experience possible no matter real estate size or maker.
2. All Other Sites
For the other sites we provide some great experience for supported browsers. These are the choices
a. Contemporary View
You get a great UI with a great layout easy to navigate and professional look that has been optimized for Touch. This renders in HTML5 and is activated by default at the site level by activating the feature ‘Mobile Browser View’ it is only supported by particular SmartPhone browsers (See http://technet.microsoft.com/EN-US/library/fp161351.aspx)
b. Classic View
You get the text and links that have always been provided and is provided to insure that older browsers can still get mobile access to your sites. Default experience for those browsers that cannot use Conteporary View.
c. Full-screen UI
Get the desktop experience on your tablet or SmartPhone no matter the real estate that you get, this can be reached by a link in Contemporary View.
How do we customize which ‘Mobile View’ our users will get?
This is based on the browsers User Agent string and can be configured thru what is called the browser definition file (See http://technet.microsoft.com/EN-US/library/ff393836.aspx)
NOTE: These would have to be performed on each WFE in the loadbalancer
I have a Publishing site how do Device Channels help me provide an awesome experience?
You can create Different channels based on the browsers User Agent string so that you can optimize the look and feel of the site for each device (Remember browsers will render things differently as well each device has different real estate to work with).
Within each Device Channel you get a Master Page and Page Layout specific to that Device Channel and you can edit them to give your users the optimized xperience that you want to (See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj862343).
Then the question becomes how do I edit those files to give my users the experience they expect and you have several choices
1. Using Visual Studio or SharePoint Designer 2013 you can make the changes that you want to the files
2. Using a new feature in SharePoint 2013 called Design Manager you can create an HTML file using your preferred HTML editor and then have your Master Page and Page layout created automatically for you. No SharePoint Design knowledge needed! (See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj822363)
Overview of mobile devices and SharePoint Server 2013
Configure external access for mobile devices in SharePoint 2013
Plan for mobile views in SharePoint Server 2013