This meta-posting is intended to serve as a combination query + feature-request. I do not have a mobile device; I think that this posting needs input from users who do have a mobile device (e.g. smart phone). Following that, I think that this posting may then need moderator attention.

On a recent mathSE query, I questioned someone else's comment re that mathSE answer-previews are unavailable on mobile devices... At the link below, see my (user2661923) 2nd comment (near the end of the posting) followed by Alexey Burdin's response.

Compute Value of expression

Using a desktop pc, my test of the following link seemed successful:


First of all, I am generally curious whether mobile-device-mathSE-responders are unable to pre-view their answers.

Assuming that this is a problem, do mobile-device-mathSE-responders consider the http://bandicoot.maths.adelaide.edu.au/MathJax/test/sample-dynamic-2.html link as an adequate substitute for pre-viewing their answer (if they want)?

If so, then I request that a FAQ question/answer be created to address this point.

If not, but if any mobile-device-mathSE-responders can suggest a different link, then (again) I request that the appropriate FAQ question/answer be created.

Alternatively, if this is (still) a problem for mobile-device-mathSE-responders, I don't think that it is a good idea for mathSE to try to incorporate "smart code" that will make the webpage "smart enough" to render a preview for a mobile-device-mathSE-responder. I think there are simply too many variables re operating systems, browsers, hardware, and changing conditions.

A possible alternative is for mathSE to provide a "practice page" where any user (mobile-device or desktop) can format and save an answer, and then review/edit their answer. Once they are satisfied, they could then lift their response back to the original posting that they want to respond to.

I think that the practice mathSE webpage would have to be user specific. I also think that it would be reasonable to "automatically delete" (et al) the practice webpage 12 hours (or 24 hours) from the last save. This is the point where I think that my posting (which may have evolved into a feature request) needs moderator intervention. I have no idea how feasible such an idea is. Nor do I have any idea whether it would be a waste of time (i.e. if almost no one used the feature). Obviously, if something like this is implemented at mathSE, then (again) I think that a corresponding FAQ entry should also be created.

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    $\begingroup$ I just switch to desktop site on my (mobile phone) browser and it work just like the main site. (including previewing answers) $\endgroup$ – sai-kartik Jul 26 '20 at 2:01
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    $\begingroup$ @user2661923, just as sai-kartik said, I copy all of the text and switch to desktop version then paste all it back, whenever I need to review myself. P.S. question window does show a preview $\endgroup$ – UmbQbify Jul 26 '20 at 3:16
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    $\begingroup$ I just upvoted both of the comments above, in appreciation. I emphasize that since I have no mobile device, I am totally in the dark, and my query is totally dependent on the response(s) of mobile users. $\endgroup$ – user2661923 Jul 26 '20 at 3:40
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    $\begingroup$ I have been using this website exclusively on a smartphone for a long time (5years +). Back then I used the desktop mode in the mobile browser, but then SE people added "responsive design" and I just need to use the "full site" option (it is seen as a link at the bottom of any SE webpage). With this the site works almost perfect on mobile devices (you don't need to switch on desktop mode in browser). Your test link for mathjax preview works fine in mobile by default. My browser is Firefox on Android. $\endgroup$ – Paramanand Singh Jul 26 '20 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ When writing long answers with heavy mathjax the preview becomes slow enough (lack of memory or cpu overload, I have 3 year old phone) and then sometimes I copy paste the draft in some text editor (note app) and work directly without preview. And then paste it back as an answer. But this is mostly for answers with heavy mathjax. $\endgroup$ – Paramanand Singh Jul 26 '20 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ As a user who has had their question automatically deleted before it could be posted (I was working on an answer in the ask a question page for over 3 weeks), I think that if the answer is deleted in 24 hours, a warning in bold letters needs to be put on the same page. $\endgroup$ – user400188 Aug 2 '20 at 11:40

Moderators don’t have (to my knowledge) the ability to add features to the site. But there already exists something like this in the meta site, the Sandbox. IMO this is too bothersome to bother with, I personally just deal with the raw LaTeX code which I am very used to.

Furthermore, while it is true that the mobile website doesn’t let give you a preview of your answer enter image description here you can as sai-kartik indicates in the comments switch to the full site where you do get a preview enter image description here. I’ll also mention that the mobile app (which isn’t being updated anymore but still works for the most part) has a preview function, but the preview is shown on a separate window. enter image description here

In short I don’t think it’s a big enough problem for the people who can add features to the site to care, and there are already partial workarounds available.

Sent from my iPhone :)

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    $\begingroup$ The mobile app is the worst! Can't even see comments from notifications (may be fixed) $\endgroup$ – UmbQbify Jul 26 '20 at 3:17
  • $\begingroup$ I upvoted Calvin Khor's (detailed) answer. I will defer accepting it to give other mobile users a chance to weigh in. I am especially curious whether a different mobile user will wish to provide a different answer that disagrees with Calvin Khor's point of view. $\endgroup$ – user2661923 Jul 26 '20 at 3:46
  • $\begingroup$ @UmbQbify-Key20- I can tap on the notification and reply just fine (iOS). But don't expect any fixes to come... $\endgroup$ – Calvin Khor Jul 26 '20 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ @UmbQbify-Key20- If I understand Calvin Khor's answer and your followup comment correctly, you are not disagreeing with his assertion that the mobile user can temporarily "switch to the desktop version" (whatever that means) to pre-view their answer. Please advise if I have misinterpreted you, or if (in your opinion) I am misinterpreting Calvin Khor's answer. $\endgroup$ – user2661923 Jul 26 '20 at 3:50
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    $\begingroup$ @user2661923 maybe the experience is worse on Android or older phones, I can't tell you about that. Also, I believe my phone remembers if I want the full site or the mobile site. In short - many companies create different (sometimes completely different) versions of their website that is intended to be better for people who use phones in small screens. In my opinion, this is often a waste of their effort because my phone works fine on many "desktop version"s, and the mobile site frequently has less features. You can see for yourself by clicking on "Mobile" at the bottom left of this page $\endgroup$ – Calvin Khor Jul 26 '20 at 3:55
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    $\begingroup$ @user2661923, yes, I totally agree with the answer. in a mobile browser, browser can request a desktop version. Though it's not guaranteed that it'll work, it does for stack exchange. In my comment to this answer, I mentioned the app, not website. (Idk the mechanism behind it, so I can definitely be wrong) $\endgroup$ – UmbQbify Jul 26 '20 at 3:57
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    $\begingroup$ off topic but :) @UmbQbify-Key20- I strongly disagree with \displaystyle before \lim when used in in-line mathematics, in fact I have many times edited this out because it destroys the line spacing when used in a paragraph. I also always edit \displaystyle out of titles when I see them. $\endgroup$ – Calvin Khor Jul 26 '20 at 4:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Calvin Khor, preferences..I edited it as my choice $\endgroup$ – UmbQbify Jul 26 '20 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for featuring me :P $\endgroup$ – sai-kartik Aug 8 '20 at 9:40

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