Non-mobile Websites on the iPhone

If you’re reading this, you probably already understand why one might wish to view a regular, non-mobile website on the iPhone. For example, eBay now forcefully redirects iPhone traffic to a limited functionality mobile site (http://mobileweb.ebay.com). Among other things, relisting auctions from the mobileweb.ebay site is impossible. Blasphemy!

The Workaround

Servers perform these frustrating redirects by reading the browser’s “user-agent” ID. So, if we spoof the iPhone browser’s user-agent ID, web servers will believe the iPhone is a regular desktop browser. But, the iPhone’s Safari browser doesn’t support user-agent spoofing. This leaves us with two choices:

1) Jailbreak the iPhone

or

2) Install a browser app that supports user-agent spoofing

I went with option (2) and downloaded a browser called JourneyLite.

1) Download the free JourneyLite app:

2) Launch JourneyLight and tap the “+” icon at the bottom

3) Select “Settings”

4) Change “Pretend to be” to “Firefox 3.0”, then hit Done

You’re now surfing like a ninja. No more mobile sites:

Success: www.ebay.com (Non-mobile!)

4 thoughts on “Non-mobile Websites on the iPhone”

  1. The “journey web browse liter” app did the trick for me.

    Why the mainstream browsers like Opera mini and Safari Mobile can’t do this I don’t know!
    With more and more crap mobile versions of sites that are limited in functionally and sometimes barely work at all (my office webmail included – alt-n worldclient), “faking” the browser’s user agent is the only way to use the websites properly!

    Some sites offer a link to the non-mobile version at the bottom of the page, which helps, but the control needs to be with the browser. Ideally a CSS media variant for mobile so the browser can switch modes client-side without having to cock about with the HTTP headers sent to the web server.

    The bottom line is:
    Web developers: please stop *forcing* users onto a mobile only version of your site!

  2. I dwnld the journey app on my iPhone 6 w a little trouble. Once I got it worked out I followed the rest of the instructions and the app seems to lock up. So it’s not working for me. Sadly.

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