Apple’s new product the iPad has just been launched (april 3rd). And many websites have also come out with their iPad compatible sites. Most of us who have not got iPads can’t view these sites or test them so i have put together a small hack for you guys who are interested. I will show you how to change the user agent of MozillaFirefox with a small add-on called User Agent Switcher available on the Mozilla Add ons page. This add-on allows you to change your browser’s user agent to trick the website into thinking that you are on a iPad when your actually laying back browsing with Firefox.
So once you have added User Agent Switcher to Firefox you can go up into Tools and click on “Default User Agent”. You should have some default user agents like IE and the iPhone. We need to add the iPad ourselves so we click on “Edit User Agents” inside the “Default User Agent” menu. Here we click on “New” and then “New User Agent”. It should ask you to fill out a few fields. You can enter any user agent for any device you would like, there’s a good list of user agents over at Wikipedia if you would like to try that, but we are going to continue with the iPad.
You should still be in the “New User Agent” window. In the Description enter iPad . For the user agent paste this in:
Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B314 Safari/531.21.10
Then for the App Name: Mobile Safari
And app version: 5.0 (Macintosh; en-US)
Click ok and go back into “Tools>Default User Agent” and choose your new user agent “iPad”. Now go around the web and any site that has separate iPad site should load up. BUT, not all iPad functionality is supported by FireFox because the iPad ships with Safari which renders things slightly differently and has full HTML5 support.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share if this was helpful or interesting. Fun fact: The word “user agent” was used 30 times on this article.