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RIM Shows Developers How To Identify BlackBerry Browsers

RIM decided to change up the user agent that the BlackBerry browser sends to web servers in BlackBerry 6. From BlackBerry OS 4.2 until 5.0 all Browsers sent a variant of this user agent to web servers:

BlackBerry9000/ Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/179

Now with BlackBerry 6 and the Torch RIM decided to change things up. From what I can tell this was done so that websites designed for the iPhone and Android WebKit browsers would recognize that BlackBerry 6 has a WebKit browser. Here is the new user agent in BlackBerry 6:

Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9800; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.1+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/ Mobile Safari/534.1+

I find this new user agent slightly annoying because our scripts used to parse the BlackBerry model number from the first part but now it only gets BlackBerry; U; since RIM moved the model number further down. I am not sure why they did that other than copying the iPhone user agent.

Either way RIM gives us a couple of code samples showing how to recognize a BlackBerry device using the environment variables in a few coding languages. They don’t show you how to extract the model number from both the new and the old user agent but I am working on that. You can see some more details about the change on RIM’s blog at this link.

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