Today there are more mobiles than toothbrushes in the world – and comparing the former with the number of desktops has become a travesty now. This makes it potentially a huge and lucrative market for mobile phone web development. You might be wondering how mobile websites are a match to their desktop counterparts. Yes, mobile Internet was traditionally slow and cumbersome but with the boom in smartphone sales, many users prefer to browse through the Internet on their phones. No wonder mobile web and application development is a buzzing territory. Most businesses are trying to draw mileage from this booming industry. Here we take a brief look at the best mobile phone web testing tools:
Mobile web development is a highly challenging field. It is where creativity meets cutting-edge technology. To replicate a robust website on a few inches of the screen can be quite a demanding task. It is further complicated by the varied screen sizes, resolutions, and processing capabilities of different mobile phones and mobile operating systems. It thus becomes very important to test a mobile website or web application for its compatibility and usability.
Here we shall take a look at some popular mobile phone testing tools that developers can use to thoroughly test their mobile websites:
1. Google Android Emulator
This is one of the highest used mobile phone testing tools in the world – thanks to the overwhelming popularity of Android phones.
This Android SDK comes with a virtual mobile device that runs on your computer. Here you can easily develop and test your Android applications without having to use an actual Android device.
With the help of this tool, you can mimic all the hardware and software features of an Android mobile. All the navigation keys that a typical Android handset has have been replicated and can be executed with a mouse click.
This tool lets you study your app in minute detail and also marks places that need improvement which paves the way for robust apps into the market.
3. dotMobi Emulator
This tool gives you a live preview of your site from different mobile phones. It is a great tool if you want to test your mobile website on older mobile devices.
One of the downsides of this tool is the fact that it requires the Java browser plugin for it to work.
Testing iPhone apps can be a little different from testing for other platforms as Apple hasn’t come out with an official testing tool. This problem can easily be overcome by making use of TestiPhone which is a web browser-based simulator.
This allows you to quickly test your iPhone web applications. This web-based tool is compatible with Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 2, and Safari 3.
Developers make use of this tool to check the iPhone compatibility of their websites. This amazing tool gives you a pixel-perfect web browsing environment powered by Safari.
This is a perfect 320 by 480-pixel canvas for your iPhone app development. It is not merely a testing tool but can also be used to develop 320 by 480-pixel websites for the iPhone.
6. iPad Peek
The popularity of the iPad has made this testing tool very popular among developers.
This desktop-based testing tool gives you a peek at how the website would render on an iPad and allows you to make necessary changes to make your website run perfectly on the iPads.
7. BlackBerry Simulators
There are many official simulators of BlackBerry used by developers on Windows, Mac, and Linux to simulate a complete smartphone experience on their computers and check for the minute details of apps developed for the BlackBerry platform.
8. Windows Mobile Emulator
This is the official emulator that allows you to test applications for Windows Mobile 6.1.4 and websites for Internet Explorer Mobile 6.
This tool basically adds emulator images to Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008 but can also be used as a standalone application without Visual Studio.
9. Nokia Mobile Browser Simulator
Nokia Mobile Browser aka NMB is a mobile Internet browser SDK that allows developers to simulate mobile browsing experience on their local computers.
Though not much in use these days, this tool is helpful in simulating apps over Nokia’s vast range of phones.
If you are looking to test your mobile websites and get statistical results, this is the perfect testing tool for you. It gives your website a score between 1 and 5 based on an analysis of over 30 proven mobile web development techniques.
These include stylesheets, media queries, caching techniques, and standards-compliant code among other things. The tool not only pinpoints the errors but also gives you actionable suggestions to improve your website.
This mobile web IDE for Windows helps developers code, test, debug, and deploy mobile applications on different platforms including iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and the Palm Pre.
The latest version has a drag-n-drop visual designer for mockups along with templates, updated OSS components, and multi-touch and gesture support features.
12. Palm Development Center
This is the official Palm emulator used to test the functionality of websites running on the Palm WebOS. This emulator runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows.
This tool comes along with the SDK and can be used easily to test the compatibility of the mobile version of your website.
13. Opera Mini Simulator
Opera mini is the most popular mobile web browser in the world and all mobile websites can be tested using the MicroEmulator.
This simulator functions exactly in the same manner as it would on any handset running the popular browser.
14. W3C Mobile Ok Checker
This is a simple validation tool that checks how mobile-friendly is your mobile website. These tests are carried out against the protocols laid down by the World Wide Web Consortium.
Testing is one of the most important phases in the development of websites and applications and is as important as editing a write-up. These tools help in testing the visual aesthetics and functioning of all the features of the mobile version of your website and applications. Without thorough testing, you cannot ensure an enthralling experience for the users.