When you open Apple’s corporate website in Mozilla Firefox, you’re greeted with a “your browser is not supported” prompt. The message appears for all recent versions of Firefox, including Firefox Stable, Firefox ESR, and Firefox Nightly.
Apple says it recommends Safari, Microsoft Edge, or Chrome for accessing the Business site, but most Chromium-based browsers will work. The work login shows up when you open the site in Brave or Opera, and of course the three mentioned web browsers recommended by Apple.
Apple does not reveal why Firefox is not supported. Is there a technical limitation preventing Firefox from being supported by Apple’s Business site? While possible, it’s also possible for Apple to block any browser that isn’t Webkit (its own) or Chromium-based.
Some organizations recommend certain web browsers. Besides Microsoft and Google, which heavily push their browsers on their properties, it is organizations such as Bank of America and other financial institutions that recommend certain web browsers. Sometimes these recommendations are based on tests or lack thereof.
If companies have a limited testing budget, they will spend it on widely used browsers and apps first. Most of the time, non-recommended browsers can be used, provided they support the technologies used by the sites.
Firefox users can override their web browser’s blocking on Apple’s Business site by changing the browser’s user agent. The user agent is often used as an identifier, as it can reveal the name and version of the browser, as well as other information.
When you change Firefox’s user agent to Chrome’s, Apple’s Business site loads the login prompt, asking to log in to the site.
The connection should work at this point in Firefox. It seems unlikely that Apple will see many login attempts from Firefox on the Enterprise page. Most Apple Business customers probably use Safari, some may use Chrome or Edge instead.
Firefox supports manually changing the user agent, but you can also use an extension, which makes it more comfortable and is the recommended solution. The extension Switch and user agent handler gives you control over the user agent. Simply use the extension to set a different user agent before accessing Apple’s site, and the login prompt should appear.
The predominance of Chromium, and to some extent WebKit, is problematic for browsers that use different engines. Firefox is the prime contender, as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was recently retired on many systems. Changing the user agent can help in some cases, and it’s a good option to try before using another browser to access services that block Firefox.
Now you: Have you experienced any web compatibility issues while using Firefox lately? (thanks Carl)