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What Does Your User Agent Say About You?

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A user agent is a computer program representing a person, for example, a browser in a Web context.

Besides a browser, a user agent could be a bot scraping webpages, a download manager, or another app accessing the Web. Along with each request they make to the server, browsers include a self-identifying User-Agent HTTP header called a user agent (UA) string. This string often identifies the browser, its version number, and its host operating system.

Spam bots, download managers, and some browsers often send a fake UA string to announce themselves as a different client. This is known as user agent spoofing.

The user agent string can be accessed with JavaScript on the client side using the navigator.userAgent property.

A typical user agent string looks like this: "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:35.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/35.0".

(Source: Mozilla.org)

User Agent String

Browser Data

Screen Reader User Agent

author
Brent Mccoy
• Saturday, 23 October, 2021
• 20 min read

At the time of writing there isn’t a way to reliably detect whether someone visiting your site is using a screen reader (or screen magnifier). Several Windows screen readers (and magnifiers) make use of the Microsoft Active Accessibility (SAA) layer.

user agent firefox extension zone switchers restart needed bottom works simple line
(Source: www.extension.zone)

Contents

It's also a Windows based solution, completely oblivious to the growing numbers of screen readers and magnifiers used on Linux, Mac and other platforms. Another point worth noting is that not all Windows based screen readers use SAA to begin with.

In the meantime, your best bet is to stick to well-structured, standards compliant and inclusive content delivery! TestModeWhat the user hairstyles Page with Lang set on the HTML and p elements ReadingAct-eef table.

Page with XML:Lang set on the HTML and p elements ReadingAct-eef table. Heading is IMG with alt HeadingSecond level alt, heading level 2, graphic.

Embed with aria-labelledby attribute ReadingGroup start, this is ARIA-LABELLEDBY text. Show more media controls, more options button.

Object with aria-labelledby attribute Readings is ARIA-LABELLEDBY text, graphic. A element placeholder link with no event handler or ref attribute ReadingPlaceholder text an element placeholder link with no event handler or ref attribute Tabbing Nothing Skipped when tabbing, as expected iframe with fallback content Readings is an, link, example hyperlink, in the target page. Doesn't read out alternative content.

windows agent user mac desktop chrome change
(Source: www.addictivetips.com)

Iframe with fallback content TabbingFrame, example hyperlink, link. Iframe with title attribute Readings is an, link, example hyperlink, in the target page.

First name, edit, a bit of instructions for this field linked with aria described by, type in text input type=text with aria-describedby attribute TabbingFirst name, edit, a bit of instructions for this field linked with aria described by, type in text input type=text with title attribute ReadingEnter search text. Yes/No radio buttons inside field set element ReadingGroup start, I agree to terms and conditions.

Group start, sign me up to the newsletter. Yes/No radio buttons inside field set element Tabbing agree to terms and conditions, yes, radio button checked, one of two.

Sign me up to the newsletter, yes, radio button checked, one of two. Img with null alt Reading Nothing Ignored as expected IMG with alt Readings is alt text, graphic IMG with title Readings is title text, graphic IMG with aria-label Readings is an aria label, graphic IMG with aria-labelledby Readings is an aria labelled by, graphic.

This is an aria labelled by area and IMG with alt attributes ReadingImage map link graphic, this is left alt text. Image map link graphic, this is right alt text.

agent change user browser desktop mobile emulated possible device drop resolution choose down
(Source: deviceatlas.com)

Area and IMG with alt attributes TabbingThis is alt text image map read-only, this is left alt text, image map link graphic. This is right alt text, image map link graphic.

Area with title attribute ReadingImage map link graphic, this is left title text. Image map link graphic, this is right title text.

Area with title attribute TabbingThis is alt text, image map read-only, this is left title text, image map link graphic. This is right title text, image map link graphic.

Area with aria-label attribute ReadingImage map link graphic, this is left aria label text. Image map link graphic, this is right aria label text.

Area with aria-label attribute TabbingThis is alt text, image map read only, this is left aria label text, image map link graphic. This is right aria label text, image map link graphic.

user xml file any
(Source: cosgunvistas.blogspot.com)

Area with aria-labelledby attribute ReadingImage map link graphic, this is left aria labelled by text. Image map link graphic, this is right aria labelled by text.

Area with aria-labelledby attribute TabbingThis is alt text, image map read only, this is left aria labelled by text, image map link graphic. This is right aria labelled by text, image map link graphic.

Click Here link with aria-describedby attribute TabbingClick here, link, this is an aria described by.aria-describedby is read when tabbing Layout table with single cell Readings is some text. Treated as a layout table. Data table with role=grid ReadingGrid with two columns and two rows.

Grid end. Text in brackets is only spoken when Ctrl+Alt+Jumped+5 pressed. Data table with caption and TH ReadingTable with two columns and two rows.

Data table with role=column header headers but no TH ReadingTable with two columns and two rows. Busy (column 2, row 2, afternoon, busy). Reads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Data table with TH cell headers ReadingTable with two columns and two rows.

(Source: proxys.io)

Busy (column 2, row 2, afternoon, busy). Reads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Data table with TH scope on cell headers Reading Table with 5 columns and 4 rows. 412 212 5421 (column 3, row 2, phone number, Joel Garner, 412 212 5421).

412 212 5400 (column 4, row 2, fax number, Joel Garner, 412 212 5400). Pittsburgh (column 5, row 2, city, Joel Garner, Pittsburgh) Row header read out along with column header for cells.

Headers associated with the cell read out when Ctrl+Alt+Jumped+5 pressed. PDF18 Document with doc title Readings is document title Shows how well JAWS Chrome supports ARIA and Wag sufficient techniques.

Free, busy. No table structure voiced. TestModeWhat the user hairstyles Page with `Lang` set on the `HTML` and `p` elements ReadingAct-eef table.

Heading is `IMG` with `alt` HeadingSecond level alt, heading level 2, graphic. `a` element placeholder link with no event handler or `ref` attribute ReadingPlaceholder text `a` element placeholder link with no event handler or `ref` attribute Tabbing Nothing Skipped when tabbing, as expected `iframe` with fallback content Readings is an, link, example hyperlink, in the target page. Doesn't read out alternative content.

(Source: docs.releasenotes.salesforce.com)

`iframe` with fallback content TabbingFrame, example target. Example hyperlink, link. Reads out title tag of frame source page.

`iframe` with `title` attribute Readings is an, link, example hyperlink, in the target page. First name, edit, a bit of instructions for this field linked with aria described by, type in text `input type=text` with `aria-describedby` attribute TabbingFirst name, edit, a bit of instructions for this field linked with aria described by, type in text `input type=text` with `title` attribute ReadingEnter search text.

`input type=text` inside `label` with text before and after control TabbingEnter search text, blanks not allowed, edit, type in text `field set` containing links ReadingGroup start, legend for enclosed links. Yes/No radio buttons inside `field set` element ReadingGroup start, I agree to terms and conditions.

Group start, sign me up to the newsletter. Yes/No radio buttons inside `field set` element Tabbing agree to terms and conditions, yes, radio button checked, one of two.

Sign me up to the newsletter, yes, radio button checked, one of two. `IMG` with null `alt` Reading Nothing Ignored as expected `IMG` with `alt` Readings is alt text, graphic `IMG` with `fig caption` Reading Violet, taken on 12/11/2010, figure.

(Source: www.white-windows.ru)

`IMG` with `title` Readings is title text, graphic `IMG` with `aria-label` Readings is an aria label, graphic `IMG` with `aria-labelledby` Readings is an aria labelled by, graphic. This is an aria labelled by `area` and `IMG` with `alt` attributes ReadingImage map link graphic, this is left alt text.

Image map link graphic, this is right alt text. `area` and `IMG` with `alt` attributes TabbingThis is alt text graphic, this is left alt text, image map link graphic.

This is right alt text, image map link graphic. `area` with `aria-label` attribute ReadingImage map link graphic, this is left aria label text.

Image map link graphic, this is right aria label text. `area` with `aria-label` attribute TabbingThis is alt text, graphic, this is left aria label text, image map link graphic.

This is right aria label text, image map link graphic. `area` with `aria-labelledby` attribute ReadingImage map link graphic, this is left aria labelled by text.

user agent
(Source: play.google.com)

Image map link graphic, this is right aria labelled by text. `area` with `aria-labelledby` attribute TabbingThis is alt text graphic, this is left aria labelled by text, image map link graphic.

This is right aria labelled by text, image map link graphic. A “click here” link with `aria-describedby` attribute TabbingClick here, link, this is an aria described by.aria-describedby is read when tabbing Layout table with single cell Readings is some text. Treated as a layout table.

Data table with `role=grid` ReadingGrid with two columns and two rows. Data table with `summary` and `TH` ReadingTable with two columns and two rows.

Data table with `caption` and `TH` ReadingTable with two columns and two rows. Data table with `role=column header` headers but no `TH` ReadingTable with two columns and two rows.

Busy. Reads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Data table with `TH scope` on cell headers Reading Table with 5 columns and 4 rows. 412 212 5421 (column 3, row 2, phone number, Joel Garner, 412 212 5421).

agent user firefox extension zone switchers missing sizes still were
(Source: www.extension.zone)

412 212 5400 (column 4, row 2, fax number, Joel Garner, 412 212 5400). Pittsburgh (column 5, row 2, city, Joel Garner, Pittsburgh) Row header read out along with column header for cells.

PDF4 Decorative image marked as artifact Reading Nothing Image ignored as expected Shows how well JAWS Firefox supports ARIA and Wag sufficient techniques. TestModeWhat the user hairstyles Page with `XML:Lang` set on the `HTML` and `p` elements ReadingAct-if waybill.

`object` with `aria-label` attribute ReadingUnlabeled zero button. Hide plugin button. Unlabeled buttons, and no description of non-text content.

`area` with `title` attribute ReadingImage map link graphic, left underline arrow dot Him. Image map link graphic, right underline arrow dot Him. Reads out URL instead of title `area` with `title` attribute TabbingThis is alt text graphic, left underline arrow dot Him, image map link graphic.

AAG and supporting resources are also intended to meet the needs of many audiences, including policymakers, managers, and others. AAG 2.0 was developed to help make future generations of Web browsers more accessible, to provide alternative information based on the users technology and platform, and to align with Wag 2.0 and Tag 2.0.

agent useragent detector
(Source: github.com)

It provides specific guidance for browsers and other user agents, and reference information for accessibility professionals. The Sergeant Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (UAW) has identified implementations of the features (“success criteria”) of AAG 2.0, demonstrating that it is possible to implement the AAG 2.0 success criteria.

AAG 2.0 provides specific accessibility guidance for user agent developers who want to build a better user experience for all. These examples (or use cases) highlight how AAG can help people with disabilities who are using mobile devices.

AAG technical documents are developed by the Sergeant Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (UAW), which is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (Was). This is a portable prgram, and it is imprtant t mention that it DGSN’t leave any tracs in th Windws Rgistry.

Yu can cpy it n any USB flash driv r other devices, and take it with yu whenever yu need t convert all writtn cmmands frm yur screen t speech n th bronze, withut having t g thrugh installatin stps. AgentScreenReader runs quitly in th systm tray until calld upn whn it reveals several configuration sttings t tinder with.

Yu can pint yur must cursr t a spcific txt ara, r simply select th txt that yu want t b processed autmatically. All in all, AgentScreenReader comes packed with some handy audi parameters fr hlping yu rad th txt displayd n yur screen, and provides vry good audi quality.

agent user
(Source: play.google.com)

March 1, 2014, There has been much discussion about the idea of detecting a screen reader from a website and optimizing the code. Text-only websites didn’t work before and you know devs will do this if a mechanism is provided.

Screen reader detection is eerily similar to the browser-sniffing technique which has proven to be a poor practice. Maintaining separate channels of code is a nightmare; developers overloaded already with supporting multiple browsers, devices, etc (via RWD).

If you follow that logic, then detection should be provided for screen magnifiers, braille output devices, onscreen keyboards, voice-recognition, etc. Let’s hope screen reader detection is removed from the W3C draft of Indie UI 1.0: User Context.

Rv: gecko version indicates the release version of Gecko (such as 17.0 “). The Chrome (or Chromium/Blink-based engines) user agent string is similar to Firefox’s.

For compatibility, it adds strings like HTML, like Gecko and Safari. The Opera browser is also based on the Blink engine, which is why it almost looks the same, but adds “Or/”.

agent user cloaked viewing hidden contents links raymond cc switcher forums
(Source: www.raymond.cc)

In this example, the user agent string is mobile Safari’s version. In October 2017, Web AIM surveyed preferences of screen reader users.

This was a follow-up to 6 previous surveys that were conducted between January 2009 and July 2015 (see Related Resources). The sample was not controlled and may not represent all screen reader users.

We hope to conduct additional surveys of this nature again in the future. Do you use a screen reader due to a disability? Response# of Respondents of RespondentsYes1,58589.2%No19210.9%In general, we've found survey responses to be very similar between respondents with and without disabilities.

The number of respondents with low vision was notably lower than in 2015. Please rate your proficiency using the InternetResponse# of Respondents of RespondentsAdvanced1,27872.9%Intermediate44425.3%Beginner301.7%Reported proficiency on this survey was notably higher than all previous surveys, perhaps suggesting that screen reader users are becoming more accustomed to using the internet.

Essentially, the survey was distributed to a much broader audience, with many Context and Window-Eyes users recruited to respond. Window-Eyes was also offered freely with Microsoft Office before the 2015 survey, but has since been discontinued.

(Source: blog.peremen.name)

39% of respondents in July 2015 reported low vision, compared to only 20.4% on this survey. But we should not discount the continued impact of other screen readers, primarily Context among the broader low vision community.

For survey simplicity, other specific screen readers were not offered as response options. The survey comments indicate that Supernova was very common among “Other” screen readers.

Usage of JAWS, NVA, and Voice-over are all up since 2015, with Window-Eyes and Context significantly lower. Positive responses to this question were 48% in October 2009, 60% in December 2010, 67% in May 2012, 74% in January 2014, and 78% now.

Respondents with “Advanced” screen reader proficiency were also more favorable of free/low-cost screen readers. Has your primary screen reader been updated in the last year? Response# of Respondents of RespondentsYes1,56288.5%No20311.5%The vast majority (88.5%) of respondents indicated that their screen reader has been updated in the last year.

Internet Explorer (all versions) usage decreased to 31.4% from 53.5% in July 2015, 58.7% in January 2014, and 67.5% in May 2012. 31.4% represents a significantly higher IE usage than among the overall population (most statistics place it well below 10%).

user agent styles inspector firefox developer improvements toolbox scratchpad episode tools devtools inspect mozilla hacks usage
(Source: hacks.mozilla.org)

Usage of Internet Explorer was much higher in North America than elsewhere in the world. 35% of respondents from North America reported using IE as their primary browser, compared to only 23.4% in Asia and 24% in Europe.

There are many combinations in use, with JAWS with IE the most common, followed closely by NVA with Firefox. The percentage of respondents using a mobile screen reader was notably up from 69.2% in July 2015, when the survey had broader distribution to a more diverse and less technically proficient user base.

Which of the following is your primary mobile/tablet platform? Response# of Respondents of Respondents Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch1,14675.6%Android33422.0%Other352.3%iOS devices continue to dominate the mobile screen reader market. Android usage increased slightly, though at a slower pace than previous years.

Usage of other platforms (Windows Phone, Chrome OS, Nokia, etc.) Those with more advanced screen reader and internet proficiency were much more likely to use iOS over Android.

(Choose all that apply)Mobile Screensaver % of RespondentsVoiceOver69.0%TalkBack for Android29.5%Voice Assistant5.2%Mobile Accessibility for Android1.9%Nuance Talks1.8%MobileSpeak1.5%Other3.2%Since July 2015, Voice-over usage increased to 69% from 56.7%. All other mobile screen readers saw decreased usage over that period.

(Source: www.white-windows.ru)

20.9% of respondents commonly use multiple mobile screen readers. When performing common online tasks such as banking or shopping are you most likely to use a mobile app or the website? Response# of Respondents of Respondents Mobile App77946%Web site91654%Respondents with disabilities are more likely to use the mobile app than respondents that do not have disabilities.

How often do you navigate by landmarks/regions in your screen reader ? Response# of Respondents of RespondentsWhenever they're available30718.0%Often21312.5%Sometimes49128.8%Seldom36421.3%Never33219.4%The frequent use of landmarks and regions has continually decreased from 43.8% in January 2014, to 38.6% in July 2015, to 30.5% on this survey. 45.4% of JAWS users always reported or often using landmarks in July 2015 compared to only 28.5% now just 2.5 years later.

When trying to find information on a lengthy web page, which of the following are you most likely to do first? Response# of Respondents of RespondentsNavigate through the headings on the page118067.5%Use the “Find” feature25214.4%Navigate through the links of the page1186.8%Navigate through the landmarks/regions of the page693.9%Read through the page1287.3%While reliance on headings as the predominant mechanism for finding page information had notably increased between 2008 and 2014, responses to this question are largely unchanged since 2014. While 30.5% of respondents indicate that they always or often use landmarks when they are present, only 3.9% use this method for finding information on a lengthy web page.

This suggests some notable disparities in perception of difficulties between these two groups. The differing behaviors of screen readers across various browsers are noticed all the time by screen reader users, and differing levels of ARIA support are noticed similarly, but the reasons why this happens aren’t commonly understood by the majority of people.

For example, the most widely used screen reader, JAWS, is hard coded to work best in Internet Explorer. This includes Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari in the Mac and iOS platforms.

(Source: nemos.tistory.com)

The browser’s Accessibility API exposes public properties and methods that can be queried by third party applications, like screen readers, to retrieve information from the Document Object Model (DOM) within the browser, which is then conveyed to screen reader users. This happens, because the browser’s Accessibility API has exposed the role of the element in one of its public properties or methods, which the screen reader queries when it renders the page content in the Virtual Buffer.

The screen reader then queries the browser’s Accessibility API as usual, and renders the content in the Virtual Buffer using this updated information. The only difference, is that the browser’s Accessibility API portrays this element as a button for screen readers.

This is why a complex interactive component may work perfectly using JAWS and Internet Explorer, but not so well in Firefox or Chrome, or why the same component may work perfectly using NVA in Firefox, but not so well in Internet Explorer or Chrome. All of which include a mixture of shared and proprietary properties and methods that screen readers can tap into.

It means that, when programming complex interactive components according to the ARIA specification, differing levels of accessibility across various screen readers is unavoidable. For example, using JAWS 13 and Internet Explorer, you can navigate to the Calendar tab and press Enter or the Space bar to activate it, then use Tab to navigate to the Calendar icon, and press Enter to activate the popup.

Now, if you try the same using JAWS 13 in Firefox instead, you will notice that the Virtual Cursor is not disabled when the popup opens as it was when using Internet Explorer, making it impossible to use the same key commands to navigate the calendar without first pressing Insert+Z to turn off the Virtual Cursor. This shows an example of unequal support by screen readers within different browsers.

agent user switcher firefox impersonate browsers yuck menu let
(Source: www.makeuseof.com)

Similarly, when using JAWS13 in Internet Explorer to navigate and activate the tabs on the Bootstrap page, you were traversing an ARIA Tab control, which also includes ARIA standards compliant markup and cross browser keyboard event handling for keyboard only users. When you open the Tree tab in Chrome using either NVA or JAWS 13 however, then tab into the ARIA Tree control, and use the Left/Up/Right/Down arrow keys to navigate and expand branch nodes, you will notice that none of the branch nodes are announced as expandable, nor what the current state is, nor what the current level is, even though all of these things are announced correctly in both Internet Explorer and Firefox.

This is happening because the hand shaking procedure between the browser (Chrome) and the screen readers (JAWS and NVA) is not occurring properly, so this information is not announced as it should be, even though the component is programmed properly and in full accordance with the ARIA specification. Therefore, the best way to ensure the highest level of accessibility for the highest percentage of screen reader users, is to program complex interactive components using the most widely used screen readers to test this functionality in the Operating Systems where they are most widely used.

Currently, this is within the Windows OS using JAWS and Internet Explorer, and using NVA in Firefox for laptops and desktops. Interactive components should never be specifically programmed to work within specific AT/browser combinations, such as using ARIA hacks to make something work in Firefox and JAWS, when doing so results in non-standards compliant markup and inaccessible functionality elsewhere.

Cross browser scripting should always be used to ensure full keyboard accessibility without a screen reader running, which will work in all OSes. This will ensure that, when browsers that don’t currently support such components are updated according to the ARIA Sergeant Specification, they will automatically start working properly when screen readers tap into this functionality.

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05: Change Le User Agent Firefox Plugins
06: Change Of User Agent For Edge Browser
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10: Change User Agent Internet Explorer
Sources
1 winaero.com - https://winaero.com/change-the-user-agent-in-internet-explorer-11/
2 www.howtogeek.com - https://www.howtogeek.com/113439/how-to-change-your-browsers-user-agent-without-installing-any-extensions/
3 websistent.com - https://websistent.com/internet-explorer-change-user-agent/
4 www.tenforums.com - https://www.tenforums.com/browsers-email/150941-changing-user-agent-internet-explorer-11-a.html
5 stackoverflow.com - https://stackoverflow.com/questions/63319375/change-user-agent-string-in-ie-11
6 helpdeskgeek.com - https://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/how-to-change-your-browsers-user-agent-without-installing-an-extension/
7 sourceforge.net - https://sourceforge.net/projects/ie-ua-editor/
8 answers.microsoft.com - https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie11-iewindows_10/set-default-user-agent-string-for-ie-11-without/daab73a4-4c6c-4c5b-9cb7-abf081494637
9 www.maketecheasier.com - https://www.maketecheasier.com/change-user-agents-chrome-firefox-edge/