Will iPad's Safari be a 'mobile' browser?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by johnmoorejohn, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. johnmoorejohn macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2010
    Most mobile sites are designed for smaller screens and have a way to click to the full site, but the iPad has a large screen. Will iPad's Safari default to mobile versions of sites first? That could be annoying.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    My guess is that it will be a mobile-ish version. Steveo said he would put the "full internet in our pocket" and sort of didn't do quite that. However, he has given (in my opinion) one of the better cellular browsing experiences out there (not comparing to the current Droid market). But since the iPad is set to use an iPhone version of their OS, I cannot imaging that we would not have mobile browsing. Many sites do not force me to their mobile version. eBay and Amazon are two that do.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Of course because its using the same version of safari as the iPhone. Heck we're talking about an over-sized iPod touch and being such espn, msnbc and other sites will see that its a mobile device and provide those web pages.

    Many sites offer a way to go to the non-mobile web pages but there are some that don't
  5. johnmoorejohn thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2010

    Which user agent will the iPad use? Will it have its own?
  6. wolfpackfan macrumors 68000

    Jun 10, 2007
    Cary, NC
    You all need to go and watch the video walkthrough on 9to5Mac. It is NOT mobile Safari.
  7. bozzykid macrumors 68020

    Aug 11, 2009
    Actually, it is running mobile safari. How it identifies itself will affect whether or not sites that have mobile versions will show them.
  8. GQB macrumors 65816

    Sep 26, 2007
    It's totally up to the site developer. The iPad's browser will announce itself as such and developers can display whatever format they want as default.
    Given Apple's acknowledgment that simply scaling up iPhone apps is inferior to optimizing for full screen, I'm fairly confident that they will distinguish between iPhone/touch Safari and iPad Safari in the agent string.
  9. blackNBUK macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2010
    This page and this page both say that the iPad's user agent string is:-

    Mozilla/5.0(iPad; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B314 Safari/531.21.10
    If this is true then the iPad browser is likely to be initially detected as an iPhone but it will also be pretty trivial for sites to alter their browser sniffing to send the iPad to the full web site.
  10. joseluis.17 macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2008
    monterrey, mexico
    I think as soon as it's out, we'll start to see some ipad designed webpage just like with the iphone, so you'll get the best
  11. Niiro13 macrumors 68000

    Feb 12, 2008
    I think for sites which don't have an iPad specific version, it will default to the full version of the site for the most part. I don't see why Apple would make the iPad's Safari register as a mobile browser especially for some mobile sites which look ugly on the iPhone already.
  12. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I'm guessing it will be full for all or the majority of the websites it visits.
  13. aardwolf macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2007
    The latest user agent string is:
    Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B320c Safari/531.21.10
    We're using a typical browser redirect on a forum for a guy I'm developing before, and it redirects the iPad to the mobile version of the site. (Apple needs to get rid of "Mobile" in the user agent string.)
  14. rgbyhkr macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2007
    I agree and I think Apple will change the agent string to ensure that the iPad loads a desktop version (perhaps unless there's some iPad specific version). With all the iPhone and mobile specific sites out there, users would probably be annoyed by seeing a website formatted for small screens (talking about sites that auto-detect browser type and redirect/reformat as necessary) when they browse to them from their iPad. That does potentially introduce the flash issue whereby sites that use flash but have iPhone friendly versions leave the iPad stuck in the middle if users don't know how to manually get to the alternate site versions. I think the web admins should be left to decide whether to auto redirect or not, but the starting point should be the desktop version. I think on a large screen device like this, folks just will expect that, even if it leads to unusable flash boxes.

  15. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I'm a little worried about navigating to sites on the iPad and having them bring up a mobile version instead of the full website.

    Anyone know if there are ways around this on the user's side, so that you could bookmark a full version of a website and when you went back it would always be the full version instead of a mobile version?

    I know some sites allow you to manually switch to the full site once you are there, but it would be quite annoying to have to do that everytime you went to say Yahoo.com or Amazon.com. I'd want a way to permanently bookmark my ipad to always go to the full website of certain pages.
  16. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    If it does, it would the fault of the websites developer.

    Now always - again thats based on how the website is built.

    Not much Apple could do - it's entirely based on the web site.
  17. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    Technically, Apple could do something about it. They could allow us to change the user agent string on he iPad/iPhone so we look like a desktop browser.

    But in the end, it's up to the wedsites to decide. The good sites have a 'use full site' link on their mobile pages to allow the user to make the choice (when in doubt, let the USER decide).
  18. MrAgileBeast macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2010
    if u go to yahoo.com it will go to yahoo.com
    dont worry.
  19. Elzlaik macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    If I start using the iPad as much as I think, I am going to miss some of the features of full Safari. I use topsites all the time to see what pages have updated and what about the Find bar to search for text on a website, as far as I've seen the iPad doesn't have this feature.

    Oh well, let's see what happens in 4.0 whenever it comes.
  20. blackNBUK macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2010
    Being able to search on a page is definitely something that should be in Mobile Safari. You can get bookmarklets that can do the same thing but I'd prefer something integrated. I've also never got around to checking out how well they work in practice.
  21. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    That is it (http://developer.apple.com/safari/library/technotes/tn2010/tn2262.html). You can test it out by your self, by opening Safari >> Develop >> User agent >> Other and fill in.

    If you then load web pages, you will be recognized as an iPad user.
  22. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Thanks for the info, I'm going to try this on my macbook when I get home from work and see how sites will look on my ipad. I hope websites are starting to change their website to recognize ipad users from just general mobile users.
  23. FunkyJunk macrumors regular


    Oct 17, 2007
    Leesburg, VA, USA
    Using that User Agent string, one of the sites that seems to use the iPhone display is Google Reader. (www.google.com/reader)
  24. blackNBUK macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2010
    Thanks for the link.

    I've had a quick look around at a few sites that I remembered having mobile versions and the mostly the full site is displayed. This included MacRumors, TUAW, Engadget and iPadAlone :)

    The one exception so far is Google Reader; going to http://www.google.com/reader takes you to the mobile version which looks sort-of-OK in portrait. Interestingly going to http://www.google.com/reader/view on my iPod Touch takes you to the normal interface. However this doesn't work because you can't scroll the list of articles and I imagine it won't work on the iPad either. Hopefully they've got something in the works to improve this.

    If anyone else wants to try it in Safari it appears that changing the user agent only effects the current tab of the current window. If you open a new tab/window you need to change the user agent again.
  25. Bodhi395 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I tried it and almost every site I usually visit seemed to load the full desktop version. The two exceptions I found was NBC.com and Gmail. Gmail did have a link at the bottom so I could go to the desktop version, but it still wasn't the full desktop version, since it didn't have the chat feature. Anyone know if the gmail chat feature is supported on the ipad? I'm not sure what type of plugin is used for that.

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