Currently, the search box requires the enter key to start a search. This is a bit hard to do when your device doesn't have one. We can has search button?

Posting from a Zune HD.

  • 14
    I can't believe this has been declined - isn't usability an issue with the trilogy?
    – alex
    Dec 14, 2009 at 2:07
  • 3
    The Zune doesn't have a return key!? How are you suppose to make your grocery-list...
    – Sampson
    Mar 26, 2010 at 21:11

5 Answers 5


An alternative would be to add a search page, available via a link on the page footer. This would include a proper button, and possibly additional search options.

  • Very nice idea.
    – Pekka
    Mar 26, 2010 at 20:45
  • If this is the answer - can there be a mobile search page?
    – sq33G
    Nov 2, 2011 at 22:42

I also have this problem is both Opera Mobile and Symbian S60's default browser.

The phone has a RETURN key, but the problem is that while you're entering the text, you're in a special "input mode", that doesn't respond in the same way.


A solution would be to add a submit button on the search form, styles as if it was just a link, which is doubles as a link to the search page when the form is empty.

  • 2
    +1 for it also being link to the search page
    – ChrisF Mod
    Sep 16, 2010 at 11:04

Isn't this only an issue if your virtual keyboard doesn't have an enter key? My phone (HTC Hero - an Android phone) only has a virtual keyboard, but that keyboard has an enter key and it works fine on this site. I guess my point is that I imagine there aren't many devices that have a keyboard and yet still manage to not have an enter key of some kind.


We won't be adding a button, but I guess I could make the background clickable (the search icon is a background-image specified in CSS).

edit: I view this as a problem with the browser on that platform, not our problem. If the iPhone browser can handle this, the Zune / Blackberry / etc browser should be able to, as well.

edit: see that Android already followed Apple's lead here, so this really is a platform issue as I said: How to use the Search box on these Stack Exchange sites with the Galaxy S?

  • 7
    That won't work for the HD, as when you "click" on the search text box it brings up the editor in which you type. No button even for certain user agent strings?
    – user1228
    Oct 19, 2009 at 18:48
  • How about double clicks?
    – Pekka
    Mar 26, 2010 at 20:31
  • @Pekka: That won't work for Opera Mini - the focus/click model there is IMO similar to elinks: there's an element with the focus, and clicking it invokes the default action (open a link, edit a form field, submit a form). Although Opera Mini has some JS capability, it definitely won't recognize double click and context click events. Sep 9, 2010 at 8:34
  • 4
    (btw, Opera Mini runs on devices that have about as much CPU power/RAM as your typical toaster (e.g. Sony Ericsson T610),so "iPhone works, there's no problem" seems a bit like saying "the desktop application works on my 8-core, 64GB RAM machine, therefore no problem exists") Sep 9, 2010 at 8:41
  • 1
    ((I've just tried upgrading, and the search box seems to be working in the latest build of Opera Mini 4. Great!)) Sep 9, 2010 at 11:10
  • Search has always worked on Opera Mini. Sep 10, 2010 at 8:00
  • 5
    I stronly urge you to reconsider this, as the current state makes the most prominent search box completely unusable, and with the new SE 2.0 sites, we can expect a influx of users not using regular browsers. a example would be users who browse one of the sites on their Wii for example. Sep 16, 2010 at 10:58
  • 3
    @alex it's plenty usable on android and iphone browsers. You might ask why other browsers fail at this.. Sep 16, 2010 at 10:59
  • 5
    @Jeff - As @Piskvor said, "'iPhone works, there's no problem' seems a bit like saying 'the desktop application works on my 8-core, 64GB RAM machine, therefore no problem exists'"
    – Arda Xi
    Sep 16, 2010 at 14:13
  • @Arda Actually, it's more like saying, "We support the latest official release of IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari. We will support other browsers as needed, according to site usage logs." Notably they do NOT support the iOS browser and android browsers - a lot of features do not work on them. The fact that Apple and Google both got this feature right indicates that rather than getting a workaround on the site for your broken browser, you should focus your attention on getting the manufacturer to fix the problem so all sites are fixed.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 16, 2011 at 17:54
  • @Pollyanna It really isn't. First of all, I have an Android device, so it's not 'my browser', but "The fact that Apple and Google both got this feature right" indicates that a minority of market share is now capable of viewing the site. Woohoo. Both, added up, still don't beat Symbian. They're actually only about 35% together. How does that prove anything, other than suffering from a severe case of tunnel vision?
    – Arda Xi
    Feb 16, 2011 at 20:32
  • @arda 35% of the total Internet browser market? The mobile market accounts for a very small fraction of total visits to so. That's why they focus on the desktop browsers. Once one of the mobile browsers accounts for ten to twenty percent of stack overflow's total traffic, you can bet they will consider supporting it specifically.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 16, 2011 at 22:24
  • 1
    @Pollyanna Mobile browsers happen to be a corner case where this is important. However, there are more reasons to have another way to submit the search. Otherwise, why bother to have an 'Add Comment' button for example?
    – Arda Xi
    Feb 16, 2011 at 23:20
  • @arda because users expect single line text boxes to work with enter, while they don't expect that behavior from multiline text boxes.
    – Pollyanna
    Feb 16, 2011 at 23:30
  • shouldn't we be opting for the platform indepent choice here...?
    – deostroll
    Sep 30, 2011 at 9:34

You must log in to answer this question.