Questions & answers for iCab Mobile (2020/10/04)
- Changing the font size no longer works on the iPad. How can this be fixed?
- The „problem“ with the modern web engine since iOS 13 is that Apple decided that the iPad should be marketed as a device with „Desktop computer feeling“ which could replace a notebook computer etc. And Apple thinks that the ability for a web site to change the font size does not match this „Desktop“ statement. Therefore Apple intentionally(!) removed the ability to change the font size within the modern web engine on iPads (but not on iPhones, because these are still treated as "Mobile“ devices). This is why changing the font size stopped working on the iPad when using the modern web engine under iOS 13.
Apple has received a lot of complaints about this decision from developers, so they have considered to bring back the old behaviour under certain conditions under iOS 14: The App has to explicitly set the web engine into „mobile“ mode, which iCab Mobile doing when the Browsers ID is set to a "mobile" one (like "Safari (iPad)" and "Safari (iPhone)").
So in case you're still using iOS 13, please update to iOS 14. The you can get change the font size again. Also use the Browser ID "Safari (iPad)".
In the past it was still possible to switch to the "classic" web engine of the iOS, which always allows to change the font size. But Apple does no longer allow to use the classic engine, so this option is not available anymore.
- How do the filters work in iCab Mobile 10 and later, what are the differences between the filters of iCab Mobile 9.x and older and the ones of iCab Mobile 10 and newer?
Filters are organized in "collections", filters within a collection belong together, for example because they have the same purpose (like blocking Ads). This is the same for the old and the new filter system.
Individual filters can block certain resources, hide page elements (CSS-based filters), block cookies (only supported by iCab Mobile 10 and later) and define exception filters which can override other filters to make sure that in this special case the resource is not blocked but loaded.
In general the filters are searched in the given order. But the old filter system expects the exception filters located before the other filters they would override. The new filter system expects the exception filters after the filters they should override. This is an important difference (iCab Mobile 10 will automatically change the order when converting the old filters into the new ones after updating the App).
Also in the old filter system filters of one collection can affect filters of other collections (important for the exception filters), the new filter system keeps each collection separate, so filters in different collections do not have influence of filters in other collections. This is important for the exception filters. In the old filter system it was common to have a dedicated collection which comatins the exception filters and which was placed before all other collections. This doesn't work in the new filter system anymore. Here the exception filters must be located within the same collection in which those filters are located which should be overridden by the exception filter.
So when updating from iCab Mobile 9 or older to iCab Mobile 10 and newer, you should delete the old "whitelist" filter collection (the ones for the exception filters), because it would no longer work.
Also all the third-party filters (AdBlock Plus, Easylist, uBlock and compatible) which you've imported in the past in iCab Mobile 9 and older should be deleted in iCab Mobile 10 and newer and imported again. This is useful because iCab Mobile 10 supports much more features of these third-party filters than iCab Mobile 9 and older.
All the filters you've created yourself should be checked manually after updating from iCab Mobile 9 to 10, to make sure that there are no unwanted issues (like the exception filters which won't work anymore).
The filter of iCab Mobile 10 itself provides much more paramaters than the filters of iCab Mobile 9. The old filters could only block based on the URL of a resource, the new filters can be much more detailed, for example a filter can differentiate between first-party and third-party resources and between different file types and even limit a filter to certain domains of the main document.
- Why is it no longer possible to open files from the Download manager in other Apps?
- This does still work as before. But iOS 11 has a bug which can sometimes prevent that this works as expected. Until Apple fixes this bug, you should simply switch off the device completely and reboot the iOS. This should fix the issue (at least for a while).
- Why does it take so long until contextual menus open on the iPad?
- iOS 11 introduces "Drag & Drop" as new feature. The "Drag" operation is triggered by holding down the finger on an object for a while and then move the finger to drag the opject to its destination. Unfortunately this conflicts with the long-press gesture of contextual menus. Therefore Apple has to resolve this conflict and their solution is to delay the contextual menu. So now to open the contextual menu you have to long-press the object for at least 3 seconds. A shorter time span would only trigger the "Drag" operation. There's no other solution available.
But in case you do not need Drag & Drop in iCab Mobile in all areas, you can simple switch it off in the "User interface" settings. This way the contextual menu will again open after just 1 second. You can disable "Drag" operations for links in the web view, for the bookmarks window, the history, the downloads and the reading list.
- How can I get out of the Kiosk mode?
- The Kiosk mode is a special mode, where almost all of the user interface is removed and where there are no settings accessible. This mode is useful for public information terminals in exhibitions, museums, fairs and other public locations,
where the user of the kiosk should not be able to "mess" with the system. So it must not be easy to get out of the kiosk mode.
As Admin user you can configure how to leave the kiosk mode the "User Interface" settings of the Kiosk account. The options which are available are: tap at the top and bottom of the screen at the same time, tap all four edges of the screen at the same time or tap with 5 fingers on the screen. This will then open the password window where you have to enter the korrekt Kiosk password to be able to leave the kiosk mode.
Another way to leave the kiosk mode would be to open the Settings App of the iOS and go to the iCab Mobile settings you can find here. Enable the option to logout all users and go to iCab Mobile again. iCab will now show the standard login screen, so you can login in any of the available accounts again.
- How can I add pages to the "Today" widget?
- To add the page to the "Today" widget for the notification center, use the menu item "Add to
Today widget" within the „Action“ menu of iCab Mobile. By default iCab
automatically includes this new menu item next to the „Add to Bookmarks“
item. If the menu item is missing, you can configure the action menu in
the User "Interface" settings.
The "today" widget itself is found in the notification center in its "Today" section. As any other widget, you can enable or disable it by tapping on the "Edit" button within the notification center.
You can edit the list of pages within the Today widget in iCab Mobile within the Bookmarks window. The root folder of the bookmarks window should have an item for the Today widget, in case there are any pages saved for the today widget.
- Can I access the standard "Share Sheet" of the iOS to use the extensions from other Apps?
- Yes, simply use the long-press gesture on the icon for the "Action" menu to open the standard "Share Sheet" instead of the Action menu of iCab Mobile. A normal tap on this icon will open the Action menu. Alternatively you can add the "Share Sheet" menu item into the Action menu in the settings.
- Why is iCab reloading web pages when switching Tabs?
- This only happens when the device is running out of free main memory (RAM). When the device is running out of free memory iCab will release as much memory as
possible, which includes the web pages within inactive Tabs.
The number of Tabs that can be opened before the device is running out of memory depends on the web pages themselves (more complex web pages with many photos or videos require more memory than simple text-based pages), the device model, the background Apps and the iOS version.
In the Settings ("Other" section) you can enable the "Memory savings Mode" (which is enabled by default) to reduce the memory usage for inactive Tabs. Enabling the memory savings mode will slightly slow down switching between Tabs, but on most devices this is hardly noticeable.
It is even possible to configure iCab in the "Other" settings to no longer release the web pages in inactive Tabs when the memory is running out. But it is not recommended to do this in general. If the memory is running out and the iOS is unable to get enough memory to continue, it starts to terminate Apps, even the App in the foreground.
- Why are all the Tabs closed after leaving the App and coming back later?
- By default iCab keeps all the Tabs open, but you can change this in the settings.
There's and option "Open At Launch" in the "App Start" settings, which tells iCab what to open when it is launched. iCab can either keep or restore the last session (keep all Tabs open), open the homepage, the QuickStarter or an empty page. If the Tabs should be kept open, you have to make sure that the "Session" is selected here.
Another option which affects what exactly is opened when launching the App is the "Private Mode". The private mode is supposed to not store any private data, so the Tabs are not stored forever (they are considered as private data). By default iCab will only keep the Tabs open for a few minutes after leaving the App, so you can at least leave the App for a short time without losing anything. But when leaving iCab for a longer time, the Tabs and other private data will be lost while the private mode is enabled. In the "Privacy"settings of iCab you can configure the details about when and which private data is deleted in private mode.
- How can I let iCab Mobile fill out forms automatically?
- For standard login forms, iCab behaves a little bit different than other browsers
to get more flexibility and also more security and privacy.
First of all, you have to save the forms manually (either by using the "Save forms" item from the "Action" menu or by tapping the "Same forms" button that is attached to the keyboard). Saving the form manually has the big advantage, that you can control what exactly will be saved. You fill out the form with all the data that should be saved, then you use the "Save forms" command. The forms in it's current state will then be saved. This way you can explicitly exclude certain form fields to be saved.
Switch on the option "Auto fill out forms" in the settings (Web sites > Save & Fill out forms) if iCab should automatically fill out the forms which were saved before.
- Is it possible use iCab Mobile as default web browser on the device?
- When using iOS 14 or later, this is possible. When still using older iOS releases you can't change the default browser.
To change the default browser under iOS 14, launch the "Settings" App form the Homescreen and open the Settings for icab Mobile you can find here. Now you should see the option to change the Default Browser.
- Can I force iCab to load the Desktop version of a site instead of the mobile version?
- Yes, most of the time this is possible.
Most web pages which provide a "normal" and a "mobile" version will determine which version they deliver based on the "Browser ID" (UserAgent) setting of the browser. This setting can be found in the "network" settings of iCab Mobile.
Selecting an ID of a Desktop browser (like "Safari (Mac)") will usually have the result that web sites deliver the "full" version of a page that is meant for desktop browsers.
Please note that if web pages determine mobile devices by their screen size and the touch gestures support, using a certain "Browser ID" might not work.
Also note that some web sites which assume that the browser is a desktop browser do rely on features which are only available on desktop browsers (like relying on a computer mouse or a physical keyboard, or relying on the Flash Plugin) which are not available on the iOS platform. So the desktop version of these pages might not fully work on a mobile device.
It is possible to define the Browser ID based on the URL of web pages. This makes it possible to keep the standard Browser ID ("Safari (iPad)" or "Safari (iPhone)") for most web sites and only use a special ID for those pages which do not work with the standard ID.
- Why are the promised features of the InApp Purchase missing?
- Normally the App should automatically determine if these features should
be enabled, either because you've bought the InApp Purchases or you've purchased the App itself within the time period where these features are available for free.
But if you've restored the device from a backup or switched to a new device or installed the App via iTunes, the purchase information might not yet available on the device. In this case go to the settings within the App, open the "Store" panel and tap on the "Restore Purchases" button. This will load the purchase information from the AppStore again and will unlock the features if everything is correct.