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We're converting a site to be responsive and have decided to use Adaptive Theme. But the client insists on a unique layout for the Front page that does not fit into Adaptive's method of stacking sidebars. In principle I need a layout program like Panels or Display Suite that lets you create two layouts, and then decides which one to use depending on the device. I'm a coder and can do this myself with a page callback, or I suppose in the front page template, but was hoping for another solution. Is there a better way?

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I think the theme key module might be just what you need. From the module's page:

ThemeKey allows you to define simple or sophisticated theme-switching rules which allow automatic selection of a theme depending on current path, taxonomy terms, language, node-type, and many, many other properties. It can also be easily extended to support additional properties exposed by other modules. In combination with Drupal's theme inheritance you can easily achieve features like:

  • individually-styled channels
  • a front-page / "splash" screen a
  • date/time-selected Christmas
  • theme mobile themes for different auto-detected mobile devices
  • special themes for "limited" or "old" browsers
  • content, user, or role -specific themes indicating your
  • environment (production, staging, testing, sandbox, … ) testing your
  • redesign safely on a live server

And many more. https://www.drupal.org/project/themekey

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