Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to view full version web site on your Android device especially tablet.

The stock browser comes with Android OS allows user to change User Agent String. By changing the UAString, the web server thinks you are using a desktop browser instead of a phone browser. This means you can trick the web server to serve you the full version web site instead of the mobile version. To change the UAString, you need to turn on the browser debug mode:

  1. Open the browser an type about:debug in the address bar and click Go
  2. Once you click Go, there is no visible indication to show you whether the browser is in debug mode or not. You need to open the browser Settings and verify the debug options are available.
  3. Where is the UAString option?
    • If you have Android phone edition (pre-3.x), UAString option is under menu > more > Settings. The settings page is long and the option is near the bottom of the page.
    • If you have Android tablet edition (3.x and up), the option is under menu > Settings > Debug
  4. Click on UAString option and select Desktop. Now, you should be able to view any full version web sites on your device.
However, one important note: the selection will not stick which mean if the OS decides not to keep the browser app in memory. Next time, you open the browser, the selection will change back to mobile and you need to change the settings again.

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