Apple Iphone owners get more. They get free Wireless access at AT&T Hotspots, which no longer is that easy to defeat and now they also get to view free digital magazines of 20 or so popular magazines without costs, courtesy of Zinio. Guess how they are providing those free digital magazines and figuring out that an Apple iPhone user is actually requesting it and not someone else ?
Yes, the same insecure User Agent check that did not work on so many occasions before. All that needs to be done is change the User Agent in your browser to the one of the iPhone which will trick the website into thinking that you are accessing it with an iPhone. This in turn will give you access to those magazines, among them PC Magazine, Technology Review, Macworld, Lonely Planet and, um, Playboy and Penthouse.
The content is provided in full screen in your browser and you can flip through the pages with a click. It's probably not the most comfortable way but it's free and easy enough. Pages are actually shown as images which means they can be saved to the local hard drive.
Firefox users can install the User Agent Switcher add-on and configure it with the following User Agent:
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419 (United States)
just add the line into the User Agent field in the options of the add-on and any name in the description. Then switch to that User Agent and visit the Zinio website that was created for iPhone users. Thanks Scott for the tip.
Update: The option is no longer available. Users who visit the site cannot read the magazines for free anymore on the site. We have therefor removed the links from this article. There does not seem to be a comparable service available at this point in time, at least not for free.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.