Disable zooming on the iPhone’s browser

September 8th, 2010

The iPhone has many cool features that help to increase ease of use and productivity. One such feature is ‘pinch and zoom’. It allows the user to quickly zoom in or out of the desired portion of a web page. Another interesting feature is the auto zooming of input fields in Safari. When the user taps the input field the browser automatically zooms in onto the input field. While this may be great for a regular website being viewed on the phone, it might be undesirable for dedicated iPhone web apps.

At first glance, one would probably think that using CSS or JavaScript to control the zooming would be the solution. However, this is not the case. Apple has implemented a special META tag to handle this.

<meta content=”width=320; initial-scale=1.0; maximum-scale=1.0; user-scalable=0;”/>

Other mobile browsers are implementing this as well, including the upcoming Mobile Firefox(Fennec) for the Android OS. This should help to make it easier to design sites with consistent behaviors across multiple mobile browsers.

Ryan Wright

Ryan is a PHP/MySQL Developer. As a High School intern, he worked on applications for NASA's bird migration project at City College of New York where he learned the more intricate details of software development. After studying Computer Engineering at Polytechnic University, Ryan has been working on developing numerous web applications ranging from simple sites to more advance E-Commerce solutions and Social Networking sites.

4 Responses to “Disable zooming on the iPhone’s browser”

  1. 51 Website Design says:

    Thank you. I’m new to mobile web development. I’ve been looking for the fix to this issue for a long time now.

  2. Wren says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’m using it in a presentation on why a client should switch developers.

    The developer dropped this bit of code into their mobile site and unfortunately that means their content is unreadable. A mobile site that you can’t read! It’s amazing.

    Great way to show how you understand usability and your competition would rather flaunt design that renders a client’s site totally unusable.

    I can see how it’d be useful for some apps, but it’s such an incredible headache for people who want to zoom-in to read.

  3. Joe says:

    Wow, I couldn’t beleive Wrens reply.

    This seems more personal than objective. You just don’t like that Developer. To interfere with clients staff is abhorable.

    He probably implemented that because the feature is such a headache for ther other 95% of users. I take it you might be in the 5%. The zoom feature is considered by many in the development world to be a real pain in the arse, hence Apple being forced to provide a metatag to enabled disablement.

    Grow up fella.

  4. Gideon Kimbrell says:

    Thanks for this post, was helpful for my engineer Nick

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