iOS 9 tips: Apple makes it easier than ever to request a desktop site in Safari

Posted:
in iPhone edited November 2015
Users beta testing iOS 9 can access a new, somewhat hidden feature in the mobile Safari browser, making it easier than ever to request the desktop version of a site when browsing on an iPhone or iPad.




Anyone testing the latest iOS 9 beta can find the new quick link to request desktop site by simply tapping and holding on the refresh icon in Safari. This is located to the right of the current URL in the search/address bar.

After pressing and holding on the refresh button, Safari will bring up a prompt asking the user if they want to request a desktop version of the site, or cancel that request.




In iOS 8, users must tap the URL bar and then scroll down to reveal a hidden link to request a desktop site. This new method, while not readily apparent, is a quicker way of accomplishing this.

Another somewhat hidden feature in the iOS 9 browser is the ability to reopen recently closed tabs in Safari. Users can invoke this menu by pressing and holding the plus button when in the tabs view in the mobile browser.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    rmb0037rmb0037 Posts: 142member
    Love this...just wish the vast majority of websites would actually acknowledge it.

    Web servers folks on here...what actually happens when "Request Desktop Site" is tapped? What happens on the server-side that changes?
  • Reply 2 of 36

    I'd love to see more websites be responsive so that I can get a more full featured experience on mobile devices.  This is especially important as more users prefer large smartphones like the iPhone 6 Plus and as more folks prefer the more personal experience of browsing on your phone vs a laptop.  

  • Reply 3 of 36
    joe28753joe28753 Posts: 75member

    Easier? hah! Thanks for posting this tip! I've been looking for it, but I assumed they just got rid of it or something. But on a side note, this feature rarely works anyway since most sites don't recognize it. They just reload the mobile version usually.

  • Reply 4 of 36
    tzterritzterri Posts: 97member
    This only works with user agents. This doesn't work with websites that are responsive and change depending on screen size.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    rmb0037 wrote: »
    Love this...just wish the vast majority of websites would actually acknowledge it.

    Web servers folks on here...what actually happens when "Request Desktop Site" is tapped? What happens on the server-side that changes?
    I'm pretty sure all of these work by changing the user agent to something representative of a desktop browser. Doing some digging, that seems to be the case with this feature in iOS Safari as well. This is going to be hit and miss because some websites work by evaluating the user agent for mobile browsers and displaying a separate or dynamic mobile website in response. A properly designed mobile website today follows principles of responsible design, however, which reflows the same website based on the likes of device characteristics such as effective screen resolution—typically ignoring the user agent for layout.

    This means that in many newer mobile designs, unless something has changed, you won't get the desktop version through this feature and the web designer/developer won't necessarily be in a good position to provide a workaround to honor (or reasonably recognize) the request.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,344member
    Another great shortcut of which in not sure how many actually will ever detect it. Actually, there appear to be quite a number of features that are not intuitive, nor are they labelled or guided. You either know or you don't. I wonder how many I missed myself already.

    On the downside I feel the UI is starting to lack it's ease of use if you like to access all features. And not all is IMO consistent. For example in the music app WHY tapping on the three dots in the mini player is bringing up a different menu than when tapping in the three dots next to the song (generating a genius playlist eg is only available in the latter)?
  • Reply 7 of 36
    Can we get one the opposite way. Some site (looking at you, BCC) insist of demanding Flash for video on desktop. Toggling to User Agent iPad shows that they have all the video available as HTML. WTF!!!

    :-D
  • Reply 8 of 36
    mystigomystigo Posts: 112member

    Now if they could just get it to work. Nearly every site I visit refuses to display the non-mobile site even when I request the desktop version. The option might as well not exist. They need to lie about the canvas size or something. It is so frustrating not being able to zoom in on stuff.

  • Reply 9 of 36
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 830member

    Another somewhat hidden feature in the iOS 9 browser is the ability to reopen recently closed tabs</a> in Safari. Users can invoke this menu by <strong>pressing and holding the plus button</strong> when in the tabs view in the mobile browser.

    You can do that already in iOS 8...
    Another great shortcut of which in not sure how many actually will ever detect it. Actually, there appear to be quite a number of features that are not intuitive, nor are they labelled or guided. You either know or you don't. I wonder how many I missed myself already.

    On the downside I feel the UI is starting to lack it's ease of use if you like to access all features. And not all is IMO consistent. For example in the music app WHY tapping on the three dots in the mini player is bringing up a different menu than when tapping in the three dots next to the song (generating a genius playlist eg is only available in the latter)?

    I feel the same way, to keep the interface "clean" Apple seem to be hiding more and more things behind menus and now, force touch. The reason original Macs had just one mouse button was the people who wrote the human interface guidelines felt that you shouldn't have to right click all over the place to access options that might be available at that particular location. The interface should be designed so the user can see the action they wish to initiate. This is the problem with Force Touch/Click, you don't actually know what you can force click on, it's not intuitive.

    Regarding the three dots, it performs different actions in iTunes too. And the star next to the play/pause button is now a menu which duplicates some of the three dot menu. With iTunes Radio the star meant "I like this, play more of it" and lit up when clicked. Oh and we now have the option to like something, and to heart it. Is there a difference?
  • Reply 10 of 36
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Another somewhat hidden feature in the iOS 9 browser is the ability to reopen recently closed tabs in Safari. Users can invoke this menu by pressing and holding the plus button when in the tabs view in the mobile browser.

     

    Recently Closed Tabs has worked that way on the iPhone in 8.3, and probably earlier.  IIRC, I first came across it from a Rene Ritchey article on iMore (tip #9).  It originally came from the iPad, which had it as far back as iOS 6.

     

    FYI, Safari in private mode obviously doesn't show anything under recent tabs (as that would defeat the purpose of private mode).

  • Reply 11 of 36
    netroxnetrox Posts: 718member
    The desktop site is kinda worthless since many websites don't pay attention to user agents anymore but rather uses JS to make the elements responsive to screen sizes.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    erik1erik1 Posts: 1member
    The open recently closed taps has always been a feature in iOS 8 exact same way to holding the plus sign
  • Reply 13 of 36
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,254member
    This. is. huge.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    john673john673 Posts: 40member

    a good useful feature that should have been implemented a while back. jailbreaking has always been a solution to that problem for years

  • Reply 15 of 36
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 830member
    john673 wrote: »
    a good useful feature that should have been implemented a while back. jailbreaking has always been a solution to that problem for years

    You obviously didn't bother to read the 4 comments above yours.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Actually it's easier to request desktop site via the share sheet. And that's where they moved find on page too, which I like much better than having to tap inside the address bar and scroll down which is how it was in iOS 8.

    [IMG]http://i62.tinypic.com/eq8c2r.jpg[/IMG]

    I like the changes they made to the document picker too.

    [IMG]http://i57.tinypic.com/2vacqo2.jpg[/IMG]
  • Reply 17 of 36
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    netrox wrote: »
    The desktop site is kinda worthless since many websites don't pay attention to user agents anymore but rather uses JS to make the elements responsive to screen sizes.

    I use it for Twitter but it seems they've already implements deep linking. If you tap on a Twitter link in Safari it opens the Twitter app. And if you go to twitter.com you get a non removable bar with the app icon that says open in the Twitter app. In OS 8 you used to be able to close these 'open in' banners. Doesn't look like you can anymore in iOS 9.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    And if you have installed content blockers, an option to reload the page with content blockers temporarily turned off will appear. This method is faster than having to go to Settings > Safari > Content Blockers to turn it off, and once more to turn it on again.

    [IMG]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/63297/width/200/height/400[/IMG]
  • Reply 19 of 36
    It still bothers me that the pointer on those pop-up bubbles in iOS is rounded.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    Needs an option in that same menu for "Reload and ignore cache," please!
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