It’s practically become a standard of daily life to be packing a smartphone in one’s pocket. Just the same, practically every social media outlet that we frequent has a mobile-optimized version that’s subsequently lacking in the features that you’d normally get in the full version of the site; we’ll show you how to get access to the full Twitter site on your mobile device. Since few social media platforms give you an easy route out of the mobile optimization, we’ll show you the tricks necessary to pull it off whenever you feel the need.
There are quite a few reasons that our phones and tablets default to the mobile-optimized version of websites, and most of them are actually for our benefit. Mobile sites typically are lower-bandwidth, lighter weight, faster, and designed to look better on slimmer, lower-resolution screens. Why does any of this benefit us, you might ask? It’s all about speed and cost, and as is typical of good web design, benefits for the user tend to circle back and benefit the host of the web page as well.
Think, for a moment, about the mighty cell phone bill that shows up in your mailbox every month. Also, think about all of those times that you’ve been out in a rural area, or in a part of the city with low-quality cell phone reception. If we’re packing a smartphone, then it’s practically a guarantee that we’re also shelling out every month for a capped data plan; an allotment of cellular data that we can use however we like, but if we go beyond it, the service provider starts hitting us with premium charges for extra data. It’s painful when it happens, and so we ride that data cap to its edge every month and do everything that we can to not go over.
On the other side of the coin, it can be remarkably difficult to even use that data when we have crappy service. 4G LTE is lightning quick and impressive when you have four bars of it, but what happens when we’re outside of the 4G range? The 3G range? All of a sudden, those tasks that we performed at lightspeed slow to a chug, and anything that requires cellular data is out of the question.
Mobile optimization helps with all of this by consuming less data overall. Images are lower resolution, menus have less nuance, and fewer assets are loaded onto your device’s screen at a time. All of this makes for a more flexible web experience that both demands less of your data plan, and manages to be accessible in areas where you can’t have tip-top data access. It’s pretty clear how this benefits us, but it also allows us to use these optimized websites more reliably and more often, which can only benefit the person or company that’s hosting the website in the first place. Circle of life, right?
However, there are certainly times when the mobile version of a site won’t cut it, and you need full access to all of the options, settings, and links that you’d get with a full desktop version. Social media is one of the most typical culprits in situations like this, and today, we’re going to show you how to wrangle Twitter back to its full-fledged desktop self from any smartphone or other mobile devices.
Twitter for Mobile
There are two ways that people typically access Twitter on their mobile devices. They either do it through the browser of their choice, in a mobile-optimized version of the same way that they might access it from their desktop or laptop computer, or they download the official Twitter app from their respective app stores.
While I’ll always heartily recommend using the actual Twitter app, you don’t have to be forced into either of these situations. For all of the reasons above, however, mobile devices will always automatically default to the optimized version of a website if one is available. In the case of social media and other frequently visited (and frequently updated) websites, you’re almost guaranteed to be presented with mobile optimization.
If you’re not up for using the actual Twitter app (consider it!) then your phone’s settings will give you the option to use the default, desktop version of the website instead of the mobile version. We’ll address these settings changes as they’re necessary for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Since these operating systems all but dominate the smartphone and tablet market share, there’s a very high probability that they’re the operating systems that you’ll have to flex a bit, in order to achieve what you want.
Accessing the Full Twitter Site
Thankfully, Twitter has always been a more minimalistic social media front, and while it can seem cluttered based on the number of posts on your feed, that feed is always fairly streamlined, and Tweets are given to you in a pattern and format that consistently makes a lot of sense.
In short, Twitter is easy on the eyes, even without mobile optimization.
This fact might change when you start viewing the full site on a small mobile screen, but that, dear reader, is entirely a subjective issue that’s in your hands. It doesn’t change the fact that we each might run into a reason for needing the desktop version of the site for some reason or another.
Twitter for iOS
We’ll tackle the operating system that you’re using on your iPhone and iPad first, but be warned that the options I’m going to gloss over require you to be using iOS 9 or higher. If you’re not, then I encourage you to update your operating system before proceeding. It’s free, it will make your device run faster and more efficiently, and it’s what will give you the option to easily load desktop versions of websites based on your preference.
Once you’re certain that your device is updated to iOS version 9 or higher, follow these steps in order to gain access to the desktop version of Twitter:
- Go to http://www.twitter.com from your preferred mobile web browser. (I recommend Google Chrome or iOS’s bundled Safari.)
- If you’re using Safari, tap the “Share” button on the menu bar. Among the available options (you might have to scroll a bit), you’ll see an icon labeled “Request Desktop Version of Site.” Tap that, and you should be rewarded with desktop Twitter! Easily accomplished, right?
- The process is a bit easier, even, if you’re using Google Chrome. Go to the Twitter website as before, but this time, select the small “Options” menu represented by three dots along the taskbar of your browser. Rather than having to delve into sharing options, you can simply select “Request Desktop Site” and end up with the same, satisfactory result.
Of course, your mobile browser may not change the default redirecting to the mobile version that you’re used to, but trust me when I say that that’s a good thing. I’ve already talked about all of the benefits of mobile optimization, and you don’t want these unoptimized desktop versions of web sites eating away at your cellular data plan.
Twitter for Android
If you’re on Android, the process is a little bit different–and also quite a lot simpler than on iOS. As you might imagine, since Chrome and Android have the same parentage–Google–the process for accomplishing this on an Android device is remarkably similar to how we did it in Chrome, even on iOS.
- As before, go to http://www.twitter.com from the Chrome web browser.
- From the settings menu (located in the same place), tap the exact same message: “Request Desktop Site.”
Finished! This should automatically give you full access to the desktop version of Twitter, enabling you to use the full breadth of the popular social media platform’s options. As on iOS, there’s a good chance that your mobile web browser isn’t going to perform this task automatically. Because mobile optimization is important and implemented for important reasons, mobile web browsers will always redirect to the version of the site designed for them.
For something capable of giving users a little bit of a headache, this is quite a simple task to solve. If you’re thinking a few steps ahead and guessing that we’ve also given you the means to solve this problem for any other mobile-optimized website, then you’re absolutely correct!
I’ve chosen this simple set of instructions because you can apply it to any website that’s consistently redirecting you away from its usual desktop version. This can be particularly handy for social media sites, but in practice, is flexible enough to solve for any website that you run into. Just be mindful of your data usage when you’re doing it! Desktop versions can take an unsuspectingly large bite out of your cellular data plan.
If we’ve missed anything, or there are any steps in the process that still seem confusing to you, chime in through the comments section, below! Until then, enjoy your full version of the Twitter website whenever you’d like, on your iOS or Android mobile device.