Read free copies of popular US tech magazines, motoring magazines and (ahem) men’s magazines by telling your browser to pretend it’s running on an iPhone...
We stumbled across this delightful little hack at Digital Inspiration
and thought it was was too good not to share!
It appears that changing the way your browser identifies itself to servers – what’s called the ‘user agent’ setting – so that it appears to be an iPhone’s Safari browser allows you to access the iPhone portal of e-mag publisher Zinio.
Zinio serves up electronic versions of commercial mainstream magazines such as Technology Review, PC Magazine, MacWorld, Popular Photography, Car & Driver, Men’s Health and even Playboy and Penthouse (yes, they’re somehow still
in print despite the Internet).
With your desktop browser pretending to be an iPhone’s browser, all of those magazines are literally just a click away.
They can be read online, or with a little extra work saved as PDF pages or high-resolution images for offline perusal.
Digital Inspiration includes instructions for Safari, and they’re a doddle – activate the hidden ‘Develop’ menu from the Preferences panel, then use the Develop menu to set ‘Mobile Safari 1.1.3 – iPhone’ as the User Agent.Exposing Safari's hidden Develop menu makes it easy to change the browser's user agent to the iPhone's Mobile Safari
Then point Safari at zinio.com/iphone, choose a mag from Zinio’s digital newsstand, ignore the prompt that asks for an email address, and start reading.
Digital Inspiration chose Safari because this trick is easiest to accomplish on that browser, but check the comments under the article for details of how to apply the same tweak to Firefox and how to save each downloaded magazine page into a single PDF set.