in iPad

One of the tasks that I do as part of my teaching is sharing slides, files and videos to groups of students after the lesson. I use different methods to do this depending on the group but one of my most common methods is via a Facebook group.

I am no fan of Facebook and would welcome moving off it, but 99% of my students are on Facebook and suggesting a tool like slack, Google classroom, or even Padlet can be met with blank expressions. A Facebook group can also lead to students continuing discussions and activities between classes.

The only issue is that Facebook sucks on Safari. They intentionally limit it to encourage you to install the Facebook app, something I haven’t had since they removed the messaging functionality in order to get me to download the messenger app (I only gave in once they removed messaging from the web version. I’m still annoyed about that). While you can do many things on mobile safari, you certainly can’t upload any old file. You are limited to photos. But there is a simple way round that.

How to use iCab Mobile to upload files to a facebook group on the iPad.

iCab mobile browser is a web browser that can pretend to be a desktop computer (in many situations but unfortunately not all thank you annoying customer relationship website). This allows you to access the full desktop version of Facebook and so you can upload a PDF file or whatever.

icab browser upload file to facebook group


  • Go to the group
  • tap more instead of  writing in the text box
  • select “add file”
  • and choose your file from the file browser in iOS

Jobs a good’un.

This is a great example of how iOS is let down by developers. The assumption that no one using iOS would want this feature shows how it is still not viewed as a proper OS. I think we can add this to the “web developers fault, but Apple’s problem” list.

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  1. FYI, I found a way to get my FB messages without downloading the (stupid waste of space) Messanger app. Log in on your mobile browser and click the share button at bottom of screen. Instead of sharing, pick the “request desktop site” option. Page will reload and you’ll be able to get your messages. Unfortunately it doesn’t work for uploading files to groups. I stopped using FB apps a couple years ago because their functionality is so limited they are almost worthless.

    • That’s a great tip, not sure why I didn’t try that or do that… perhaps I’ve become used to the “request desktop site” not always working so I don’t try it. I really hate the Facebook apps especially with some of the malicious actions like running silent audio in the background to keep the app active so they can track you all the time.