When I open my laptop at Starbucks a Chrome-window is automatically opened. It shows the login-page that allows me to log on to BT OpenZone for free Starbucks-wifi.

What kind of mechanism is used to achieve this? After all I don't get the same effect with my Ubuntu-computer or my Android phone.


This is a new feature of OS X Lion.
Lion automatically opens a web browser window when it detects that you need to agree to terms and conditions or log in to use the Internet.

It's worth mentioning that the window isn't actually Google Chrome, but an operating system window that includes a WebKit-based browser.

  • 2
    Exactly. This is something they ported "back to the Mac" from iOS. Apple identifies free public wifi which requires you to login, and opens a window to let you do it. Otherwise if you were there and trying to do something not in a browser (i.e. check email) you might not realize you need to "login." (And no, I wouldn't expect this from Ubuntu or Android. This is one of those little "nice touch" features that you get from Apple. – TJ Luoma Oct 15 '11 at 16:25
  • I see. I guess OSX tries to connect to a website when it connects and it gets the 30x redirect, then opens the browser. Yes, nice feature. However, Nathan, I think it is indeed Chrome in my case. When I click the window the top-bar shows "Chrome", not "Safari". TJ Luoma: Watch Ubuntu, it's getting better every release. ;) – scrrr Oct 15 '11 at 19:07
  • @scrrr The menu bar doesn't update for the window; it stays the same as whatever app you were using before. The window isn't Chrome or Safari; it's just a operating system window. – Nathan Greenstein Oct 15 '11 at 19:21
  • The real question is how to turn it off. This hotel is using it to pop up ads. Did someone actually think this was a good idea? Does Apple never think things through? – Glenn Maynard Jan 8 '14 at 11:59

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