Microsoft will offer Windows Phone 8.1 users some noticeable improvements when Update 1 is released sometime next week, including better rendering of websites with its version of the Internet Explorer 11 browser.
Microsoft stated, "We tested more than 500 of the top mobile web sites and found that the IE11 update improves the experience on more than 40% of them." We have already reported that IE11 will get a user-agent string as part of Update 1 to let websites "see" it as if it were a different mobile browser. Now Microsoft has gotten into more detail on how that will work, along with examples of how IE11 will view many well known websites when Update 1 is released.
The above image shows the current version of IE11 on Windows Phone 8.1 on the left, rendering the Answers.com website. As you can see, it does so incorrectly. The new version of IE11 with Update 1, as shown on the right, correctly rendered the site, allowing users to see more text and images (in this case, a cute cat and dog).
Microsoft's blog post describing the changes it has made to IE11 for Update 1 is highly technical but offers a comprehensive look at what the IE team has done to improve the mobile version of their web browser. It also offers some advice for website designers, saying:
"In general, our advice is to develop a responsive site that can adapt to the capabilities of different devices. If you choose to build a mobile-specific experience then we recommend looking for the sub-string 'mobile' in the user agent string to determine when to deliver mobile optimized content."
If you use Windows Phone 8.1, are you happy that IE11 will offer better rendering of websites compared to the current version?