Google announced this week on their Webmaster Blog that on April 18, 2016 they will be updating their smartphone user-agent. Google’s Googlebot crawler for smartphones will be changed from iPhone user-agent to Android user-agents. Google states that this change will have no impact on 99% of all websites.
The new Googlebot smartphone user-agent that will be pushed out on April 18, 2016 will look like this:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 6.0.1; Nexus 5X Build/MMB29P) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/41.0.2272.96 Mobile Safari/537.36 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
Google’s current smartphone user-agent for Googlebot that is used now is:
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 8_3 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12F70 Safari/600.1.4 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)
The main change that Google is making is replacing the Apple iPhone and Safari string from the user-agent to Android and Chrome. They want to make these replacements so their renderer can understand pages that use newer web technology better. As the web evolves, Google said that the user-agent string indicated it will be more similar to Chrome than Safari. Make sure your site isn’t affected by this update and use the Fetch and Render Tool in Google Search Console. Test your website to ensure it will allow Googlebot in.