Manually Switch OWA UI to Tablet or Mobile Layout in the browser

The New Office 365 and Exchange 2013 have some significant improvements in the Outlook Web App (OWA) experience. One of the most significant changes is enhanced support for increasingly popular devices such as tablets and mobile phones.

With Exchange 2013, part of the New Office 365, OWA now senses if its being run in a tablet or mobile device web browser and automatically changes the UI layout to provide a better experience on that device. Microsoft announced this functionality in an Exchange Team Blog post last August.

However, you don’t have to be using either of those devices to see these two new UI formats. You can see them in your desktop browser by appending the following at the end of the OWA URL in the address bar of your browser:

/?layout=twide
for the tablet layout
/?layout=tnarrow
for the mobile phone layout.
(For example: https://pod00000.outlook.com/owa/?layout=tnarrow)

This is particularly useful as the Safari for Windows browser only supports the OWA Light experience; but I’ve been able to get it to display the enhanced tablet layout in Windows with my Office 365 mailbox.

Below is the standard Desktop Layout:


Appending /?layout=twide in the URL in my address bar results in this format:


And if I use
/?layout=tnarrow
in the URL I get the mobile format:


Proof this works with Safari for Windows is below. Keep in mind, that the ability to render the Tablet or Mobile UI in Safari for Windows may be based on the patch level of the servers on which your mailbox resides. Microsoft is continually rolling out new features and patches to the Office 365 farm so this may be evidence of a new feature that’s coming in a future Cumulative Update (CU) that’s not fully rolled-out yet.

 

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2 thoughts on “Manually Switch OWA UI to Tablet or Mobile Layout in the browser

  1. After I customized my owa by modifying logon.aspx under the auth virtual directory; the change shows when I view from desktop but doesn’t show when I access owa from mobiles. After trying out with both the tablet and mobile layout, it seems this is the issue! But how can I modify this behavior ? The logon.aspx is the same under owa and oma. What file or change do I need to implement for the custromization to appear on the mobile/tablet view ?

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