Many sites which have mobile versions (e.g. Amazon) allow you to force the site into "standard" mode - letting the user decide for themselves that they're happy to use more bandwidth, deal with any mobile browsing issues etc.

Personally I'd rather see SO as it used to be when on my phone, but I quite understand the desire to be more bandwidth-friendly for those who are happy to see it in grey.

Could we just have the option, please?

  • 1
    Just had a debate about this with "the boss". Jeff's take is that this question was framed back when the mobile theme was very rough. These days the theme is "good enough" ... is this still something you want?
    – waffles
    May 3, 2011 at 6:12
  • 1
    @waffles: It's definitely looking better. I think I'd still like the option, but it's lower priority than it was to start with.
    – Jon Skeet
    May 3, 2011 at 6:14

4 Answers 4


It has already been implemented. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and there will be a link to the full site. (see this question on Meta.SO)

full site link in footer

  • 3
    It has now, yes. Rah.
    – Jon Skeet
    Jul 17, 2011 at 19:58
  • @Jon what's "Rah"? Sep 24, 2016 at 6:09
  • @Shadow: general expression of jubilation.
    – Jon Skeet
    Sep 24, 2016 at 6:31
  • @Jon lol guess one never stop learning... and I also had to Google for "jubilation" and learned what it means. Thanks! Sep 24, 2016 at 6:36

To go along with this, I would also like an option to explicitly turn the mobile theme on... For those of us who don't happen to use Officially Blessed Mobile Devices.

  • guidingtech.com/2803/get-ipad-interface-chrome-user-agent-string/
    – random
    Mar 1, 2011 at 21:35
  • 3
    @random: yeah, I know I can change my user agent string... But that just works to solidify the impression that "mobile == ios".
    – Shog9
    Mar 1, 2011 at 21:41
  • it's currently triggered for android and iphone / ipad and opera mini -- what other devices do you have? Mar 1, 2011 at 23:12
  • 2
    @Jeff: Palm Pre... ;-)
    – Shog9
    Mar 1, 2011 at 23:17
  • 1
    @shog9 ok I added webos/\d\. to the mobile detector Mar 2, 2011 at 1:23
  • That explains it, I thought it was WebOS 2.1 update that had messed up stack exchange. @Jeff Any chance of give us the option?
    – thing2k
    Mar 11, 2011 at 12:25
  • Dolphin on Android also seems to give us the standard theme. (Edit: scratch that, it doesn't work on normal Android browser either.)
    – Aarobot
    Mar 11, 2011 at 20:28
  • @Jeff: I'm with Aarobot. I see no mobile theme on Android.
    – John
    Mar 30, 2011 at 16:07
  • Blackberries (at least with OS 6) got a sane WebKit-based browser as well, still I'd like to be able to view the mobile version. May 3, 2011 at 9:30
  • 1
    I am using firefox mobile (beta) and don't see the mobile site. Nov 4, 2012 at 10:41

While I don't necessarily disagree with a mobile version, at least minimal coloring would be useful. The current version blatantly violates the principle of least astonishment, not to mention a very explicit declaration by @Jeff Atwood♦ that Meta <-> greyscale - I keep catching and working around the UnexpectedSiteException ("Huh - greyscale? How did I get to Meta? Which site is this? Oh, it just looks like Meta, meh. Now, where was I again?").

Therefore, this new design keeps pushing me from using SO to thinking about SO; needless to say, this is rather disruptive, and I have noticed that I now avoid SO on mobile, as it's behaving very differently from the normal view.

I'd take a wild guess and say that I'm not entirely alone in this regard.

TL;DR: the current decision that "mobile shall only have greyscale" is a major UI blunder, pushing mobile users away from SO.

EDIT: My cries have been heard; rejoice, rejoice, color is back!


In my shop:

  • technical folk have Android phones mostly (to root, S-OFF, custom ROM)
  • project managers and other ancilliary staff have iThings

Anyway, the folk who are most likely to not use these sites have full colour...

Please can we code monkeys have our full colour back?

Edit: after a week or so.

I lost colour but I appear to have mostly the same content

How does forcing to mono save my bandwidth when I have images, the right hand column etc?

  • iThings have the same theme, with the exception of the iPad.
    – Macha
    Mar 2, 2011 at 19:55
  • @Macha: I wouldn't know. I use Android. I want my colour back.
    – gbn
    Mar 2, 2011 at 20:18
  • 2
    I use both. I want my colour back too. But "Anyway, the folk who are most likely to not use these sites have full colour... " is wrong. They don't have colour either.
    – Macha
    Mar 2, 2011 at 20:20
  • 1
    mobile theme has much more color now May 3, 2011 at 6:01
  • ta, I'll check when I'm back on wifi
    – gbn
    May 3, 2011 at 6:37

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