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jenhi Level 1 (5 points)
Is this a common annoyance with others? Websites forcing the iPad to a mobile (and sometimes malfunctioning) version of the site?

It has always been an mild annoyance for me, but it seems that just recently something changed with a lot of websites in the past few weeks. Browsing with the iPad is forced to a mobile version, and refuses to go back to desktop version even if that link is available at the bottom of the page. And some websites like Yahoo mail even come up completely blank, even though they show up fine on a PC or even the iPhone browser! Only the iPad browser shows the site blank.

This makes me think that some common update to web server software may be the culprit?(Apache?) Maybe it was updated to "help" by making iPad browser go to mobile site by default, but is actually causing problems instead.
Is there a way to change the default browser from identifying itself as iPad or mobile browser?

  • igmackenzie Level 4 (2,285 points)
    The simple answer to this is to use a different (better) browser than Safari.
    Try iCab or Atomic. Either of them can identify themselves as desktop versions, and they have a lot more facilities and functionality than Safari.
  • Meg St._Clair Level 9 (50,894 points)
    It is the website that determines, based on the browser, what version to serve. As mentioned, other browsers allow you to "disguise" themselves as non-mobile browser.

    Yes, it's becoming increasingly common. And annoying. You may also want to drop a line to any websites you use that do this.
  • igmackenzie Level 4 (2,285 points)
    Meg, two of the most annoying aspects of this are that, firstly, Apple won't allow Safari to be recognised as a desktop version, and secondly, that Apple won't allow the default browser to be changed within iOS.
  • Meg St._Clair Level 9 (50,894 points)
    I've never found either of those to be especially annoying. When required, I simply use another browser. But different things rub different people the wrong way. As the OP noted, this is an increasing trend. When I first bought my iPad, it rarely got redirected. For reasons beyond my ken, more and more websites are forcing me to the mobile site.
  • igmackenzie Level 4 (2,285 points)
    The problem is that when you have a link within the Mail app, for example, iOS will always use Safari, which, as you have experienced, quite often is identified as a mobile browser.
    The entire problem would go away if Apple did one of the 2 things I mentioned previously.
  • Meg St._Clair Level 9 (50,894 points)
    Or, the entire problem would go away if website developers stopped redirecting iPads to mobile sites. Of course, if Apple allowed Flash on the iPad, there would be no problems and wb browsing would be perfect!
  • igmackenzie Level 4 (2,285 points)
    Meg St._Clair wrote:
    Or, the entire problem would go away if website developers stopped redirecting iPads to mobile sites.

    Very true Meg, but allowing the default browser to be selectable would be a lot easier to implement!
  • jenhi Level 1 (5 points)
    I like that solution of having a selectable option for the default browser. I'll submit a request/feedback to Apple.

    It is a shame that as more and more websites become iPad aware, that the browsing experience actually degrades. Such is progess... I was perfectly fine and happy before, at least most of the time, with the default browser. Tried Atomic Lite but miss some of the familiar look and feel of Safari, and the auto-fill suggestions.

    I hope the ultimate solution to the forced mobile website issue for iPad browsing is not just to abandon the default browser.
  • igmackenzie Level 4 (2,285 points)
    I think that if you look at either the full version of Atomic, or the even better (IMO) iCab, you'll find loads of functionality that Safari just doesn't have.
  • interact Level 1 (25 points)
    This is one aspest of the iPad that infuriates me- the iPad being re-directed to dumbed down "mobile" sites. I wish Apple would make an option in the preferences that allowed the iPad/Safari to browse as a computer, rather than a mobile device. This isn't an iPhone. I got the iPad to be able to use the web and it isn't allowing me to do that.
  • landoncube Level 1 (80 points)
    Very often, a mobile site offers a link to the full version. Look for it at the top or bottom of the page. You can also try deleting the 'm.' before the site name.
  • igmackenzie Level 4 (2,285 points)
    If you look at my first post in this thread you will find the solution to the problem. Use an alternative browser to Safari.
  • interact Level 1 (25 points)
    I tried iCab as a browser and it is totally worth the price. It allows the user to set the browser ID to a computer based browser. Now I can view complete web pages.
  • igmackenzie Level 4 (2,285 points)
    Is there an echo in here?
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