Mobile Facebook Accessibility

A complaint by a number of voiceover users in recent months has been Facebooks inconsistency with its mobile site and the attention to detail in regards to accessibility. However, as cross-platform users will have noticed, the mobile Facebook site present in Safari for Mac is a completely different Facebook viewed by users of Internet Explorer, Firefox and other browsers.

It is my belief that Facebook, on using browser detection, is identifying the use of Safari and redirecting user to an iPhone enabled version of its mobile site, specifically designed for gesture interaction through the iPhones multi-touch interface. Therefore, it is necessary to modify what is called the "User Agent," so that Facebook detects a different browser to load the more accessible mobile Facebook interface.

Below is a basic workaround to achieve this result. Although it must be noted that the user agent will have to be changed each time you log onto the Mobile Facebook site, as when Safari is restarted, it defaults to "Safari 5.1 (Mac)."

  1. Open Safari, located in /Applications/Safari.app
  2. Open Safari preferences by pressing command+,
  3. Navigate to the advanced tab
  4. At the bottom of the window, check the checkbox labeled "show develop menu in menu bar"
  5. Close Safari preferences by pressing command+W
  6. Check if the develop menu is present in your menu bar by pressing ctrl+optionn+M followed by D
  7. If the develop menu is not present, restart Safari, if it is present, then proceed
  8. Open Mobile Facebook
  9. Navigate to the develop menu as indicated above, scroll down to the user agent sub menu and select "Firefox 4.0.1 (Mac)," or simply press F then enter
  10. Mobile Facebook will now refresh into the accessible view

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2 Comments

Thanks

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Thanks for sharing this useful tip.

wow so how would this

wow so how would this translate to the Iphone? My experiences with the Mobile Facebook site is weird! it's all in reverse! thanks in advanced for any ideas.