‘Reader View’ on iPhone or iPad?

If you use an iPhone or iPad, I need your advice.

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When you visit my site on an iPhone, this is what you see. Notice the ‘lines of text’ icon on the left of the address bar. This is  the ‘Reader View’ button.  All of my ‘Notes for Students’ pages, in addition to my home page, are now ‘Reader View compatible’, but do you use Reader View if you visit using Safari on your iPhone or iPad?

I asked three people who seem to be on their iPhones all the time and none of them even knew what Reader View was. Do you? I would make reading my notes much easier.

When you visit a ‘Reader View compatible’ page, there is a little icon representing lines of text to the left of the address bar. Click on that icon and you get the main column of text set out in an appropriate size for your phone or pad, without any of the menus or additional columns. It makes reading chunks of text much easier. If you want to go back to see the whole page, you just click that icon again. This is what you see on my home page (as it is at the time of writing)…

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This is significant for anyone designing a web page – and it may change the way I present my pages as I develop my site. Up to now, the standard way to make a site compatible with smaller screens is to make it ‘responsive’ – in other words, it either expands of shrinks to fit the screen available, generally presenting just a vertical menu followed by a text column if you are browsing from a mobile.   But the result is that many of the options for those with large screens are not available. You can’t see my comments in the side column, or run down my ‘contents’ list for the page as you work your way through the notes.

Using Reader View, you can glance at the whole page – just using your fingers to enlarge the menus or whatever else you want to see – and then hit ‘Reader View’ to get on with reading the text, returning to the full view whenever you need to.

It would be ideal to design pages with ‘Reader View’ in mind – making sure that the first column just has photos and text, making for an easy read, and keeping everything else to the side for those who want to refer to its menus.

If you have not used it before, give it a try and let me know what you think. If you already use ‘Reader View’ for my notes, how does that work for you?

And is there an equivalent for those using Android?  How do you generally view multi-column pages?

Over the next couple of months – while students are off doing more important things on beaches or up mountains – I shall be up-dating my site (apologies… it has been much neglected during the writing of three more books), so your advice at this stage would be most welcome.

Thanks!