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How to Detect Browser Using jQuery


One of the more frustrating parts of creating a new web project is making sure that it looks the same (or as close to the same as humanly possible) across all different browser types. The problem with achieving cross-browser compatibility is that each browser has its own set of inherent styling rules, and additionally, some browsers (especially older versions of most browsers) don’t offer support for certain CSS properties and rules. Because we can’t control what browsers our users choose to use to visit our sites, as developers, we have to do our best to make sure that our projects look great on all browsers.

To do this, we pretty much have to be able to single out a certain type of browser and apply code based on whether or not our sites are being used in that particular browser. There are basically two ways of doing that. You can include CSS rules called “browser hacks” that will allow you to apply CSS code to certain elements based on what browser is being used, or, if you want your code to be a little more dynamic, you can use jQuery code to detect which browser is being used, and then add conditional code (maybe changes to content or CSS) from there.

Below is a snippet that can be used to detect around 20 different types of popular (and some less popular) web browsers. Use this snippet to determine which browser is being used to view your site, then go ahead and add your desired conditional code that will make sure your site looks great on all browsers.

function _setBrowser() {
    var userAgent = navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();
    // Figure out what browser is being used
    jQuery.browser = {
        version: (userAgent.match(/.+(?:rv|it|ra|ie|me|ve)[\/: ]([\d.]+)/) || [])[1],
        chrome: /chrome/.test(userAgent),
        safari: /webkit/.test(userAgent) & amp; & amp;!/chrome/.test(userAgent),
        opera: /opera/.test(userAgent),
        firefox: /firefox/.test(userAgent),
        msie: /msie/.test(userAgent) & amp; & amp;!/opera/.test(userAgent),
        mozilla: /mozilla/.test(userAgent) & amp; & amp;!/(compatible|webkit)/.test(userAgent),
        webkit: $.browser.webkit,
        gecko: /[^like]{4} gecko/.test(userAgent),
        presto: /presto/.test(userAgent),
        xoom: /xoom/.test(userAgent),
        android: /android/.test(userAgent),
        androidVersion: (userAgent.match(/.+(?:android)[\/: ]([\d.]+)/) || [0, 0])[1],
        iphone: /iphone|ipod/.test(userAgent),
        iphoneVersion: (userAgent.match(/.+(?:iphone\ os)[\/: ]([\d_]+)/) || [0, 0])[1].toString().split('_').join('.'),
        ipad: /ipad/.test(userAgent),
        ipadVersion: (userAgent.match(/.+(?:cpu\ os)[\/: ]([\d_]+)/) || [0, 0])[1].toString().split('_').join('.'),
        blackberry: /blackberry/.test(userAgent),
        winMobile: /Windows\ Phone/.test(userAgent),
        winMobileVersion: (userAgent.match(/.+(?:windows\ phone\ os)[\/: ]([\d_]+)/) || [0, 0])[1]
    };
    jQuery.browser.mobile = ($.browser.iphone || $.browser.ipad || $.browser.android || $.browser.blackberry);
};

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