Useragent Changer to Firefox iOS on Google

Useragent Changer to Firefox iOS on Google is a Firefox for Android Web Extension that enhances the user experience when visiting Google pages by sending Firefox’ iOS useragent instead of Firefox’ Android useragent.

Links

You can download the app from the Mozilla Add-on Library or fork it on GitHub.

Backstory

This web extension for Mozilla Firefox was created after I recognized, that whenever you visit Google with your Firefox for Android browser, Google will serve a very old looking version of the search results. After poking around a little, I found an extension which got rid of the problem by simply changing the useragent string to Chrome when you visit a Google page.

I saw just one problem with the extension at first and a second one later on. Firstly, I realized that Google somehow checks if the corresponding app to a webpage (i.e. the Tripadvisor app to tripadvisor.com) is installed on your Android device via an API that Chrome supports – and opens the app instead of the link. Since Firefox does not provide that API, Google does not know whether the app is installed or not, and changes the URL to open the app – even if it’s not installed.

Secondly, I wanted the extension to present a Firefox useragent. The onlyone Google would accept happened to be the Firefox for iOS useragent. So I changed the extension to use that string. Luckily that modification got rid of both my problems.

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