A CakePHP plugin component for identifying mobile devices using the Mobile_Detect project.

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Type: cakephp-plugin

1.1.2 2014-08-05 18:34 UTC


CakePHP's built-in CakeRequest object can easily determine if a request is from a mobile device:


However, sometimes an application needs finer control over what to serve certain devices, such as a mobile layout to smartphones and a desktop layout to tablets. The MobileDetect project is a "lightweight PHP class for detecting mobile devices". This component, packaged as a plugin, makes MobileDetect available in a CakePHP controller.


Tested with CakePHP 2.6.x, but should work fine with any CakePHP 2.x version.

NOTE: This plugin is not CakePHP 3.x compatible, but the Mobile_Detect lib is included with the CakePHP 3 app skeleton and can be used and extended as needed making this plugin unnecessary.


Using Composer/Packagist:

In your project composer.json file:

    "require": {
        "chronon/mobile_detect": "*"
    "config": {
        "vendor-dir": "Vendor"

This will install the plugin into Plugin/MobileDetect, and install the Mobile_Detect lib (from Packagist) into your Vendor directory.

In your app's Config/bootstrap.php, import composer's autoload file:

App::import('Vendor', array('file' => 'autoload'));

Using git:

You will need the component (packaged as a plugin), and the MobileDetect PHP library (not included). The MobileDetect library needs to be in this plugin's Vendor directory and must be named 'MobileDetect'. Using git, something like this:

git clone app/Plugin/MobileDetect  
git clone app/Plugin/MobileDetect/Vendor/MobileDetect

The MobileDetect library could also be added as a git submodule...


The component has only one method, named detect. It accepts two arguments: the method to pass to the MobileDetect library, and any arguments for the passed method.

Example: check if a request is from a tablet:

$result = $this->MobileDetect->detect('isTablet');

Example: check if a request is from an iOS device :

$result = $this->MobileDetect->detect('isiOS');

Example: get version number of an Android device:

$result = $this->MobileDetect->detect('version', 'Android');

See the demo at for a list of all available methods.


Let's say we want to serve a mobile layout to smartphones and a desktop layout to tablets. Instead of loading the component on every request (by adding it to your controller's $components array), we'll load the component on the fly when needed. This example sets a session variable tablet if the request is from a tablet, calling the component only once.

In Controller/AppController.php:

public function beforeFilter() {
    // check if the request is 'mobile', includes phones, tablets, etc.
    if ($this->request->is('mobile')) {
        if (!$this->_isTablet()) {
            // if the request is mobile, but not a tablet, activate the mobile layout

protected function _setMobile() {
    $this->theme = 'Mobile';
    // etc...

protected function _isTablet() {
    if ($this->Session->check('tablet')) {
        return $this->Session->read('tablet');
    // load the component
    $this->MobileDetect = $this->Components->load('MobileDetect.MobileDetect');
    // pass the component the 'isTablet' method
    $result = $this->MobileDetect->detect('isTablet');
    $this->Session->write('tablet', $result);
    return $result;