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Mobile Features of the New Janrain Social Login Widget

By Larry Drebes | Posted on August 19, 2011

This is the second in a series of blog posts by Kevin Long, Janrain Technical Product Manager, to introduce the new Janrain Engage Social Login Widget and provide detail on how to use the new enhancements. Read other posts within the Janrain Technical series.

We’re pleased with the response to our advanced Janrain Engage Social Login Widget and the excitement its generating. Last time we covered the new style and layout features. This time we will focus on Mobile support. Please stay tuned for future posts on:

  • Performance Enhancements
  • Expanded Javascript API

Enhanced Mobile Support

Janrain products have features to help you support users of mobile devices. These features are automatically used by the widget when they are enabled on the mobile device.

One Size Does Not Fit All!
Screen Resolution on mobile devices varies wildly. While almost all have greater than the 160 pixel width of the first generation and most current devices are in the 320-480 pixel width range, tablets and newer high density displays bring new dimensions and unheard of DPIs that complicate the rendering of usable content.

A Touching Gesture
Touch screen devices enable a new mode of interaction called gestures.
These are primarily used to perform navigation tasks. There is not a consensus on which gestures represent which actions. There is also no universal agreement yet on browser event models.

What’s your Angle?
Mobile devices can be tilted and used in both horizontal/landscape mode and vertical/portrait mode. Users expect web apps to detect and resize and re-layout content dynamically based on each change in of orientation.

Now lets take a look at the features in the new Janrain Social Login Widget that address these needs.

New Janrain Engage Mobile Web Features

Mobile Web Browsers now include many features that are specific to the needs of mobile. There are a few core features that are well supported by most mobile web browsers and are applicable to authenticating on the mobile web.

Dynamic Zoom
Zooming may be triggered by double tapping or unpinching depending on your browser/device.

iPhone mobile web login

Horizontal Layout
Tilting/rotating your device will automatically triggered a horizontal layout on most devices.

iPhone Mobile web login horizontal

Swipe Gestures
Swipe gestures are the touch equivalent of scroll bars or classic page-up/page-down keys.
Janrain Engage can be configured to display more than one page of login buttons to reduce the cluttered “nascar effect” of having too many logos while still providing a variety of options to support a diverse population.

Swipe is automatically enabled by Janrain when available on the device. Swipe by touching and dragging to reveal additional providers.

iPhone mobile web login swipe

Going Native?
Sometimes mobile applications need a tighter integration than can be provided through a pure web based application. Native applications can perform better, feel more familiar and may have access to device features that are not available from the web browser sandbox.

This new web widget functionality is made available in addition to the Native Mobile App development for social login and sharing we provide both a Library for Apple’s iOS and for Library for Google’s Android native development platforms.


These features are all applied automatically if the user has the features available on their mobile browser and device and have them enabled in their settings.

If you have not yet implemented Janrain Engage on your site you can discover the Benefits of Janrain Engage and learn about Implementing Janrain Engage.

Here are some links to device settings information and alternative mobile browsers that may provide more support than the stock browser that shipped with your device.



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About the author

Larry Drebes


Larry founded Janrain in 2005 to address the challenge of managing user identity on the Internet. In its early days, Janrain drove the development of the majority of the open source OpenID protocol libraries that continue to be used today by organizations such as Google and Yahoo!, and was a founding member of the OpenID Foundation, a nonprofit governance organization for the industry. Prior to Janrain, Larry was a co-founder of Silicon Valley startups, a web-based service, and Four11 Corporation. At Four11 Corporation, Larry led the development of its RocketMail product, one of the first Internet-based email systems. Four11 was acquired by Yahoo! in 1997, and its RocketMail product became Yahoo! Mail. Earlier in his career, Larry did software development for Raynet, McDonnell Douglas and A.G. Edwards.

View all posts by Larry Drebes