• About Us
  • Blog
  • Basket
  • Account
  • Sign In


Detecting Web Applications

Published on Friday, June 9, 2017

Detecting Web Applications

51Degrees currently detects 690,259 (as of 09/06/2017) combinations of browser, operating system and hardware, more than anyone else! This includes detecting devices using native and web apps, providing the level of granularity required to optimise your online content for different devices and screen sizes. For well known applications such as Instagram, Twitter, Gmail and LinkedIn we have individual profiles due to their popularity.

How do we detect Web Apps?

There are two important properties, included in our property dictionary, that are populated for Browser Applications. The following provides the property name and description.

IsWebApp – Indicates if a web page is accessed from an application whose main function is not browsing the World Wide Web or managing emails, e.g. the Facebook App. The application must be downloaded and installed onto the device from an app marketplace such as Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store, or via a third party as an apk file or similar. This property will return a ‘False’ value for mobile browsers such as Chrome Mobile or email browsers (such as Hotmail)

IsEmailBrowser – Indicates if the application is an email browser (Outlook, Gmail, YahooMail, etc.) that is primarily used to access and manage emails (usually from mobile devices).

When implementing or using 51Degrees product if you don’t need to separate email browsers then you would consider IsEmailBrowser OR IsWebApp equalling true to indicate an application.

Example Application User-Agents for Web Apps:

Below is an example of a standard iPhone User-Agent where no application is present.

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8F190

Some Applications state in the User-Agent that they are an iOS Application as they show the Apple device (iPhone/iPad/iPod) that the Application runs on.

Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 10_3_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/603.1.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/14E304 Weibo (iPhone7,2__weibo__7.4.1__iphone__os10.3.1)

For this User-Agent we would expect these results:

IsWebApp = True
IsEmailBrowser = False
Device = iPhone
Browser Name = Weibo for iOS

In other cases, User-Agents provide us with less data, but still enough information that we know the device must be Apple as the Application can be downloaded from the iOS store. If you create an iOS app and retrieve data from a webserver, the app will create a default user agent as "AppName/version CFNetwork/version Darwin/version".

CFNetwork– Is a framework that facilitates network protocols.

Darwin– Represents the underlying software. A combination of these two elements enable us to detect the specific software component.

For the following User-Agents we would expect these results:

Twitter/6.78 CFNetwork/811.4.18 Darwin/16.5.0

IsWebApp = True
IsEmailBrowser = False
Device = iPhone
Browser Name = Twitter for iOS

GmailHybrid/4.4.42546 CFNetwork/758.2.8 Darwin/15.0.0

IsWebApp = False
IsEmailBrowser = True
Device = iPhone
Browser Name = Gmail for iOS

What about Native Apps?

Independent of Browser Application detection, 51Degrees also provides information regarding Native Keys. These are used by Native Apps to identify the device. 51Degrees provide the hardware specifications the same way as if a User-Agent was given from web page requests, giving developers the data intelligence from which to analyse and optimise their online content.

Comparing a User-Agent example to a Native Key example:

Example User-Agent: For Samsung Galaxy S7

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; SM-G930U Build/MMB29M) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/49.0.2623.91 Mobile Safari/537.36

Example Native key: For Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung|Galaxy S7|heroqlteue|SM-G930U

You can test the User-Agent example above on our User-Agent tester and find the related Native properties for the device.

Native properties found for this User-Agent below:

NativeBrand – Samsung
NativeDevice – heroqlteue
NativeModel – SM-G930U
NativeName – Galaxy S7
NativePlatform - Android

If you have any questions related to this topic or you are interested in finding out more about how we can help you drive your online strategy please contact us.

Why not sign up for a free evaluation and get access to Enterprise level device data, which enables deeper website analytics, amazing website experiences and increased conversions.

Try 51Degrees today to add detailed device information to your website


Get Started

Comments (0)
Ali Hutchison

Ali Hutchison

Other posts by Ali Hutchison
Contact author



.NET 2013 2014 4G 51Degrees 5G A.C.Roma A7 ABI Acer Adtech Affiliate Marketing Afilias Alcatel Amazon AMP Analysis Analytics Android Android 5.0 Lollipop Android Kitkat Android Lollipop Android Media Stick Apache API Apple Apple TV Archos Asha Asian Market ASP.NET Asus Australia Big Data Black Friday Blackberry Blink Browser C C# Case Study CeBIT CES Chrome Cloud CMS combinations Comparison Competition CoolPad COTW Cron CSS3 Data Data Blog Data File Data Model Daydream Denver Design Desire Eye Desktop Detection Developers Device Device Data Device Detection Device Intelligence Device Popularity Device property Device Types Device Use DeviceAtlas Display dmexco DoCoMo Doogee DotNetNuke Download Drupal Email EReader E-Reader Ericsson Evaluation Event Examples EXPLAY Rio Facebook feature Firefox Firefox OS Fly Foundation Framework France Galaxy S3 Galaxy S5 Galaxy Tab A Galaxy Tab A 8.0 Galaxy Tab A 9.7 Germany git repositories Global Google Google Daydream GSMA HAProxy Hardware Hisense HTC HTC ONE MAX HTC OS HTML5 HTTP HTTP Headers Huawei HUAWEI. UPDATE HUDL Huwaei IBC Icemobile Prime 4.0 IE IFA IIS Image Optimiser Image Optimizer India Infographic Ingeniux Internet usage iOS iOS 7 iOS 8 ipad iPhone iPhone 6 IsEmailBrowser IsWebApp Italy Japan Java Javascript Jolla Kentico Keynote Kindle Kindle Fire Kindle Fire HD Leagoo Lenovo LG Location Log File Analysis LTE Lumia m.dot macOS Map Memory Meta Data Mi 4S Micromax Microsoft Miia Style Mobile Mobile Analysis Mobile Analytics Mobile Devices Mobile Marketing Mixer Module Motorola MVC4 MWC MWC 2017 MWC16 MyPhone Native Native Apps NET New Release News News Letter Nexus Nexus 6 Nexus 9 NFC NGINX Nokia Nokia 3310 Non-Mobile NVIDIA Omate On7 OnePlus 5 Opera Opera Mini Operating System Optimisation OS OSX 10.10 OTA Panasonic Patent PC Pebble Performance phablet phone PHP Poland Presentation Press Release Price Band PRIV programmatic PS4 Publishers Python QMobile QR Codes Redirection Research Reseller Responsive Images Responsive web design RESS Review reviews RIM Ringmark RTB RWD Safari Samsung Scala ScientiaMobile Screen Screen resolution Screen Size SEO Server Server-side optimisation Set Box Set Top Box Sharepoint Shark 1 SHIFT phones Sitecore Sitecore version 9 SLUSH Smart TV Smartphone Smartphones Smartwatches Snapdragon Sony Sony Xperia Spain Swedish Beers Symbian Tablet Tablets Tesco Testing Tips Top 5 TOTW Tutorial TV UDS UK Umbraco Update updates US User Agent UserAgent User-Agent Vendors Version 3 Video VoLTE VR Wearable Web Web Apps Web content management WebKit WebMatrix White Paper Widgets Widnows WiFi Wiko Wileyfox Windows Windows Phone WURFL Xbox XBox One Xiaomi Xperia Xperia z Yosemite Z10 ZenFon 2 ZOPO ZTE