Viewing web pages on a mobile phone is sometimes a frustrating experience, but Reader view on the iPhone and iPad helps to remove the clutter. customise the colours and fonts for a better view.

Adverts on web pages can be a major source of irritation and various web page objects like buttons and menus can also spoil the browsing experience. They get in the way when what you want to do is to read an article.

In addition to this, mobile phones have small screens that can shrink a web page’s content to the point where it is impossible to read.

There are ways around this mobile display problem and this website for example, works reasonably well on a small screen because the design adjusts itself to fit. Not all websites do this though. Also, adverts here are kept to a minimum and are mostly out of the way of the main content. A few ads are, unfortunately, a necessity because they pay the bills, which means that you don’t need to pay to browse the site and read articles. Hopefully, they don't get in the way.

To avoid the clutter on web pages and to view only the content you are interested in – the body text and images – you can switch to Reader mode on the iPhone and iPad.

Open the Safari browser and go to a website. Select an article and it may or may not be easy to read, depending on the design. You can try one of the articles here at . In fact, you might even already be reading this on an iPhone or iPad.

Tap the button at the left side of the address box to switch to Reader view. It looks like a series of horizontal lines, but it does not appear on every page, so try a few if you do not see it. Notice the difference when it is available. The menus, buttons, adverts and all the rest of the clutter on the web page is hidden. What is left is a beautifully simple and easy to read article. It looks fantastic.


Safari Reader view  Safari Reader view on iPhone
Normal view vs Reader view


A new icon is now displayed at the right hand side of the address box and tapping it displays a panel with useful options for customising reader mode. For example, there are four background colours ranging from white to black. Tap the one you want.


Safari Reader view on iPhone  Safari Reader view on iPhone


You can also select the font to be used for the body text and you might find that one is easier to read than another. Tap each font and the text instantly changes so you can see the effect.

The little and large A at the top are for adjusting the size of the text. Tap the little A to shrink the text so that more of it fits on the screen, or press the large A to increase the text size and make it easier to read.


Safari Reader view on iPhone  Safari Reader view on iPhone


The last two screen shots show Reader mode with two different backgrounds. Select the font, size and background colour that suites you best and Safari will remember it.

Reader mode is not available on every web page because some do not suit it. The home page of RAW Apps for example, is just a list of links to articles, so Reader mode is not available. Select one of those articles and the Reader mode button appears. Don’t forget to use it to clean up the display!