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Change Google Chrome User-agent String, Read Popular Magazines for Free

November 15, 2008 21:28 PST
23 magazines for free full-browsing by iPhone users

Posted by Andrew

Digital magazine provider Zinio offers up the current issues of 23 magazines - including U.S. News & World Report, Popular Photography, PC Magazine, Technology Review, Macworld, Elle, Car and Driver, Outside, Playboy, Penthouse for free full-browsing by iPhone users. However, you can change the non-iPhone browsers User agent string to that of iPhone and you will be access them for free. :-)

What is User-agent?

A user agent is the client application used with a particular network protocol; the phrase is most commonly used in reference to those which access the World Wide Web, but other systems such as SIP use the term user agent to refer to the user's phone. Web user agents range from web browsers and e-mail clients to search engine crawlers ("spiders"), as well as mobile phones, screen readers and braille browsers used by people with disabilities. When Internet users visit a web site, a text string is generally sent to identify the user agent to the server. This forms part of the HTTP request, prefixed with User-Agent: (case does not matter) and typically includes information such as the application name, version, host operating system, and language. Bots, such as web crawlers, often also include a URL and/or e-mail address so that the webmaster can contact the operator of the bot.

- Wikipedia.org, User Agent

If you are using Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari, you can modify the user-agent string through add-ons or registry, it's very easy. Unfortunately, Google Chrome doesn't support externsions yet and the user-agent doesn't store in registry. You must directly modify the chrome.dll - open chrome.dll in a Hex editor, search Google Chrome User-agent string and then overwrite it.

How to Change Google Chrome User-agent String

To change Google Chrome User-agent string, please do following steps:

  1. Launch a Hex editor program(Example: Abdio Hex Editor). I'm a VC++ developer so I launch Microsoft Visual Studio 2005.
  2. Once you have installed Google Chrome on your computer, please open following folder with Windows Explorer:
    • Windows XP:
    • C:/Documents and Settings/{User Name}/Local Settings/Application Data/Google/Chrome/Application/{Ver Number}/
    • Windows Vista:
    • C:/Users/{User Name}/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/Application/{Ver Number}/

    On my Vista computer, the folode is:

    C:/Users/Andrew/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/Application/0.3.154.9/
  3. Please close Google Chrome if running, and then backup chrome.dll file in above folder.
  4. Open chrome.dll with binary mode. In Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, press Ctrl + O hotkey, choose chrome.dll, then click Open With button, choose Binary Editor on the dialog.

Open chrome.dll in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005

  1. Search user-agent string for Google Chrome:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT %d.%d; en-US) AppleWebKit/%d.%d (KHTML, like Gecko) %s Safari/%d.%d

Search user-agent string for google chrome

  1. Overwrite user-agent string. The string for iPhone is:
  2. Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543 Safari/419.3

    Note: If the length of iPhone string exceeds the original string of Chrome, DO NOT INSERT ANY STRING in chrome.dll. The replaced string in my chrome.dll file is:

    Mozilla/5.0 (IPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebkit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/

Overwrite chrome user-agent string to iPhone string.

  1. Save chrome.dll, and then launch Google Chrome browser. If you start Google Chrome failed after saving changes, please restore chrome.dll from backup.
  2. Type about: in the address bar to confirm if the user-agent has changed.

Confirm Google Chrome User-agent

You can also visit http://www.HttpUserAgent.org, it will show your user-agent string online.

Read Popular Magazines for Free

Now, you can type http://imgs.zinio.com/iphone/ in the Google Chrome address bar and start access the popular magazines for free!

Read the popular magazines for free in Google Chrome

Other Resource about Google Chrome, User-agent and iPhone

  1. Join our Chrome FORUM - Chat Chrome news, tips, themes, plugins...
  2. Export Google Chrome Bookmarks: Synchronize your bookmarks
  3. Wikipedia.org - What is User-agent?
  4. HttpUserAgent.org - What is my User-agent? Query user-agent online
  5. Google Offical Blog - Google Chrome now live
  6. Google Offical Blog - A fresh take on the browser
  7. Download Google Chrome - A browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier
  8. iPhone Game - Crazy tank game for iPhone and iPod Touch


#1  posted on December 16, 2009 12:14 PST
There is NO NEED for all this!

Just launch Chrome in this way:
chrome.exe --user-agent="whatever you like"

:D

#2  posted on May 15, 2011 22:33 PDT
If video is to be used, please could you consider a lower bandwidth version (it is only moving coloured dots after all)

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