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BlogEngine on iPad - display problems

Topics: Themes
Jun 21, 2010 at 1:14 AM

Some of my colleagues with iPads have commented that the blog does not display properly. I am using the Business Time theme from Mooglegiant and iPad users claim that the right hand column is too thin. Is there a way to get BlogEngine to display the mobile theme when people browse the site from an iPad or is there a simple code error that can be fixed?

My site is I am experienced enough with coding to be able to fix what is wrong however my ASP skills are not as sharp as they could be.


Jun 21, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Try this (untested but might work).

In web.config find:

<add key="BlogEngine.MobileDevices" value="(nokia|sonyericsson|blackberry|samsung|sec\-|windows ce|motorola|mot\-|up.b|midp\-)" />

and replace with:

<add key="BlogEngine.MobileDevices" value="(ipad|iphone|nokia|sonyericsson|blackberry|samsung|sec\-|windows ce|motorola|mot\-|up.b|midp\-)" />




Jun 21, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Will test and report back. I know that if I browse my site with the Nokia browser it finds the mobile theme however if I use Opera Mobile it uses the normal scheme (which works reasonably). I suspect it depends upon which browser the iPad reports back - if it is Safari it may be a problem.


Jun 21, 2010 at 12:36 PM
Edited Jun 22, 2010 at 11:17 AM

I believe this to be the actual user agent string:

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


Jun 22, 2010 at 10:53 AM
I think that the iPad will usher in the need for a new setting set - BlogEngine.MobileDevices is highly suitable for mobile phones - but the screen real estate on the iPad means that the normal phone intended themes look a bit pants (imo) - if there was a third setting BlogEngine.TabletDevices then a theme specifically targetting these could be added in - perhaps using someing like Sencha Touch - take a look at on an iPad for what can be achieved - that is a great example of really capitalising on the iPad capabilities
Jun 22, 2010 at 11:10 AM

The iPad screen is large enough that a properly built theme (non-mobile) should work just fine. If however you really wanted to have a specific theme for iPad users now and some of the new tablets that will be out later, you could use browser detection to change the theme programatically. I haven't personally tried and I do not have an iPad to test. The below js function will also work for iPhone detection.

function isIPad() {
    return navigator.platform == "iPad";
Jun 22, 2010 at 11:17 AM
As an iPad user - many of the interface elements that we take for granted on a desktop computer just do not work on a tablet - any site that relies on a hover to show a dropdown menu does not work properly on an iPad, as one example, unfortunately there are plenty more examples of how things either do not work or can be made to work better on a finger driven interface - and the whole interface can be made a whole lot more like a native tablet application than a true web site
Jun 22, 2010 at 11:21 AM
Edited Jun 22, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Then maybe something more on the lines of an iPhone interface?

Check out this thread on Rtur's blog -

Jun 22, 2010 at 11:25 AM
Yes I have tried that - it looks great on an iPhone but looks wasted on an iPad screen - a direct parallel here is iPhone apps that are just scaled up look rubbish on the iPad, iPhone apps that are reworked as iPad apps and take advantage of the interface differences and the larger screen estate are the success stories - hence me suggesting that there is a need for a third set of device identifiers - even the big boys are at it on their web sites - you are starting to see a succession of sites which have mobile (wap), smartphone (mobile xHTML), tablet and desktop (xHTML) editions - all delivering progressively richer interfaces
Jul 1, 2010 at 1:40 PM
At risk of dragging up a old topic - Taylex, this article is about designing for the iPad - one of the first paragraphs discusses the point that I was trying to make perfectly - “Mobile-Friendly” Does Not Equal “iPad-Friendly” - article is here -
Jul 1, 2010 at 3:26 PM
An interesting read. At some point in the not to distant future, I am sure all of us who design for the web will probably have to take the iPad seriously. It is definately not on my priority list yet, I'll wait for IE6 to die first so the iPad can get the extra dev time that will be freed up ;-)