Alan Dean

CTO, Developer, Agile Practitioner

Photograph of Alan Dean

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spoofing my TabletPC as an iPad

TabletPC DesktopHot on the heels of the release of the iPad, I decided to repave my TabletPC (an HP TX2520ea) with a fresh install of Windows 7. I haven’t been making real use of the tablet for about a year now as I have been highly development focussed and less managerial but it was time to upgrade from Vista.

I did have a quick look at some iPad-ready websites using Safari and spoofing the browser User Agent as an iPad but the configuration steps are clunky and need to be carried out each time you create a new Safari instance.

RocketDock Icon Settings Then yesterday I read “Use Gmail for iPad in Google Chrome” which shows how to easily open Chrome with spoofing enabled and a brainwave came to me. I use RocketDock (an excellent application launcher for Windows which emulates the Apple Dock) and I realised that it would be easy to configure docked shortcuts for spoofing.

You simply create a new docked shortcut to chrome.exe and configure the arguments, setting the desired app URI:

--app="" --user-agent="Mozilla/5.0(iPad; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B314 Safari/531.21.10"

So far there aren’t a large number of sites which are iPad-ready but there are enough to make a difference to my TabletPC experience, especially as I am a heavy Google Apps user and significant work has been done by Goole on their properties to better support the iPad (it would have been nicer if they had already done this work for Windows 7 Touch devices, but there we are). Here is a selection of screenshots of Google Apps spoofed as an iPad:

Google Mail Google Mail
Google Docs (Folders) Google Docs
Google Calendar
Google Tasks

Here are some other Google sites:

Google Mobile
Google Search
Google Reader
Google News
Google Buzz
Google Talk
Google Maps

Finally, here are some other iPad-Ready sites:

BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer

Of course, you can’t run iPad Apps on Windows 7 but the rush to roll-out tablet-style websites that look good on the iPad will coincidentally benefit TabletPC owners like me and that makes me happy.


Nastase said...

Luckily you can use Andriod platfom Tablets. Why Windows?
Android Developers

Alan Dean said...

I wrote this post back in April 2010, before there were any Android tablets around.

Catty said...

But you do use Android now, right? It is the most popular platform and android development is one of the most profitable spheres today.