How to Easily Run Mobile Versions of Websites On Mac


Some things work better on smaller screens. Twitter is better on phone than it is on the desktop site (it’s just so buggy), there are less ads on mobile websites and not to mention, a lot less clutter.

If you’re visiting a responsive website, you can just narrow down the browser window to access the mobile size. But it doesn’t work for every site and you have to do that manually.

If you use a Mac, and want to visit the mobile sites for some reason (and there are legit reasons to do so), there’s an elegant way to do it . It’s called Monochrome.

What Is Monochrome

Monochrome (free) has nothing to do with the Google Chrome web browser. In fact it looks like Safari and even integrates Safari data. So if you’re signed in on a website on Safari, it will work all the same on Monochrome.

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Monochrome opens up as a mobile browser in default state. It simulates iPhone 5’s screen viewport (320px × 528px). As almost every major mobile site is optimized for the iPhone, they will look great in Monochrome.

Why Do I Need To Access Mobile Sites On Mac?

Good question.

  • Mobile websites load faster.
  • They are great for doing background tasks like listening to music on SoundCloud or even YouTube.
  • A lot less ads.
  • Testing how your mobile site works without firing up a simulator (for devs).
  • More energy efficient compared to loading full desktop sites.

And you might have a specific reason to do so.

How It Works

Launch the app and a single browser window will open up. DuckDuckGo is its search engine of choice and you’ll find two pages of pre-configured shortcuts of the best mobile websites. Chances are, you’ll find what you want to visit on this list.

Weirdly, I didn’t see the address bar when I first started the app. I had to right-click on the toolbar, go into Customize Toolbar and drag in the address bar for it to show up.

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Unlike a desktop browser there are no tabs to speak of. No extensions to manage, no caches or history to clear. One window belongs to one website and that’s it. Fast, simple, elegant.

Click the + button to launch another window. And another and another. Do it for as many windows you can keep track of.

Best Use Case Scenario

As I said, the app might seem gimmicky but can be useful for a subset of Mac users. If you don’t have a Twitter app installed, open the web view in a Monochrome window. SoundCloud app for the Mac is no more. Open it in another window and it will actually be easier to manage than if it was the 25th tab in Safari.

Want to just listen to the audio from a YouTube window but don’t want it hogging up your bandwidth or causing your primary browser to slow to a crawl? Simple, open the mobile site and do your thing.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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