WhatIsMyBrowser.com API (V3 Beta) Documentation

Version 3 of the WhatIsMyBrowser.com Browser Detection API isn't released yet, but is available for testing and feedback from both new and existing customers. Are you interested in testing it out too? get in touch.

The new approach

With the recent introduction of Client Hints as an alternative/addition to user agents, we now need to take a different, more expanded approach to performing web browser and bot detection.

Version 3's focus is on wholistic browser detection, by looking at all the HTTP headers in the requests users send to your site, (no longer just the user agent) we can provide you even more accurate browser and bot detection, as well as do an even better job identifying fake and fraudulent requests.

This expanded approach will help us to continue giving you the most comprehensive Browser & Bot analysis available via an easy to use API. You also won't be left in the past as more and more web browsers start "freezing" their user agent strings and switch to sending Client Hints instead.

The approach going forward

These additions require some changes to how you use the API, and the new Version 3 of the API lays the ground-work for a wholistic approach to browser and bot detection - not just looking at user agents, not even just with Client Hints, but eventually also incorporating Javascript based detection, as well as analysing the IP addresses that access your site as well.

Here's a rough road map of the future for the API.

Phase One

We are finishing and launching what could be called "Phase One" of Version 3 of the API at the moment. In this first phase, each request you send to the API will contain the User Agent header, as well as the various Client Hint headers your visitors send (if any) as well.

The response you get from the API will almost exactly match the existing format of the Version 2 API response, so there will be very little extra work for you to handle all the new Client Hints headers. However there's a lot more happening on our end!

We look at User Agents and Client Hints

Each time we receive an API request from you:

  • We perform the traditional user agent parsing on the user agent string
  • We also aggregate all the information from the various Client Hints headers into a similar set of data-points
  • We then "merge" and "compare" the two sets of data - the user agent parse and the client hints - and determine if the two sets of data compliment each other and basically "agree" with each other, or if the data from the user agent and the data from the client hints indicate if there's some kind of contradiction or trickery going on. If there is, we work out what the browser and system most likely is, as well as give you a list of the conflicts between the two sets of data.
  • We also handle the various quirks and inconsistencies from some browsers that send Client Hints
  • We then return an API response very similar to the one from Version 2 - except the detection results will be more accurate than ever before.

Once this first phase of Version 3 is finished and available, we will then work on the next "phase":

Phase Two

The additional functionality that will be introduced in "phase two" will slot in perfectly with the existing Version 3 of the API - it just means the responses will contain more accurate and useful data for you to work with.

We also look at Javascript based detection and IP Addresses

You will be able to send two more sets of data for the API to work with - the IP address, and the results of our Frontend Javascript detection.

Machine Learning Models

At this point as we move to "Phase Two" of the new version of the API, we will also start using the Machine Learning model we have been developing, to further help identify "real" and "risky" reqeusts to your site. It will look at all the headers in the requests to your site, to help determine what looks legitimate and what doesn't.

This will help immensely in identifying risky requests being made to your website, as well as providing browser detection which is the most accurate possible.

Join the Beta program now

If you're interested in getting early access to the new API and testing it out, let us know and we'll get you started.

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