Mobile Facebook finally looks at home on Android
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Published Wednesday 17 February 2016 at 6:14pm
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facebook theme color meta tag

If you are reading this on an Andriod mobile or tablet, there is a good chance your address and notifications bars are a purple-ish colour.

Your browser does not choose this colour randomly – it is set by the website using a very simple meta tag: theme-color. The code is short and simple, and slips easily into the <head> section of a website’s HTML. Here it is:

facebook movile web colour app switcher<meta name=”theme-color” content=”#HEXNUM”>

So easy, yet it seems Facebook has only just bothered to take advantage of no-longer-new standard.

A few months back I joined the growing group of people who have uninstalled the Facebook app to extend battery life, limit memory hogging, and shoo off a bit of Mark Zuckerberg’s spying. The m.facebook.com website is very similar to the app in functionality and responsiveness, but one jarring difference has, until now, been the browser interface.

Facebook now colours the browser and Andriod interfaces with its trademark blue, hiding the usual white and black. In recent versions of Andriod, the meta tag also sets the colour of the page title in the app switcher. It’s a tiny change, but does make a difference – especially when you’re looking for that open Facebook tab.

Other social media platforms and many websites took advantage of the tag long ago, so the reluctance of one of the biggest sites in the world to blend in is surprising. Maybe Facebook was attempting to discourage those who could use the app from using mobile web.

Update (00:50, 20160215): A further thought is a recent Chrome update has changed the interpretation of Facebook’s code – there are other ways of setting a website’s browser stylings and maybe Chrome has supported something already built into Facebook. Or my phone has simply stuffed up. Let me know! Comment below if you think this post was a waste of time.

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Tags: android chrome browser facebook html internet it web design

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