Test Mobile Apps In Desktop Browser

Lately, I have been investigating some of the advanced features of JQuery Mobile, and as all good software engineers know – it’s best to use a basic editor to build your application the long winded way to understand the process of design and build more deeply, before moving on and using a full integrated development environment such as Eclipse and IBM Worklight.

One of the challenges of testing your mobile applications is that you usually need either some kind of simulator – like the ones in the Android SDK or Apple’s Xcode, or of course an actual mobile device to deploy your code to.   Whilst this is important, its time consuming when you simply want to “see” what your application looks like and check its functionality…  and so onto a very cool discovery I’ve made for users of the Firefox browser, namely an Add-on called “User Agent Switcher” that allows you to quickly change the desktop browser to be seen as a mobile browser by your application.  This Add-on is built by Chris Pederick who also has a number of other excellent web developer extensions.

To support the wide range of mobile devices / browser combinations, there is an option to import a list of user agents that supports a wide range of  options, not just mobile (Spiders, Search Robots etc).

The easy way to install the Add-on is by selecting the Tools –> Add-ons option in Firefox, then search for “User Agent Switcher”  ..  Once installed, it provides you with a new menu option as seen in the diagram:-



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