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Mobile Compatibility Testing Tools
30 Jan

Best tools for testing mobile compatibility

As per common web development practices, every new website goes through multiple tests before it is made live, and even after that it is tested rigorously before it is promoted and marketed. Testing Mobile Device compatibility is one such procedure in which the developers check how the website is faring on different types of screen resolution and different types of mobile device platforms.

Historically, most websites are made with fixed resolutions that are designed for optimal viewing from Laptop and Desktop computer. However fixed resolution means that visiting these pages from any mobile device such as tablets, Smartphones, iPads, and PDAs, will not produce optimal results as they have screen resolution and size much smaller than desktop and laptop PCs. AS per IDC’s (International Data Corporation) survey there are more than a billion Smartphones in the market today. So it is becoming increasingly important to connect with those customers that use Smartphones as their major source for accessing the internet.

Why mobile device compatibility testing

There are a number of ways by which you can make a site compatible out of which employing a responsive web design and using additional plugins & software, are the most popular methods. Both these methods are relatively new in the web development industry and thus often clash with other features of a site. It is important to check and find out these bugs that are visible only in mobile viewing, before placing a site on the web.

Free online tool for mobile device compatibility testing

Most large scale developers have specific tools and all the necessary hardware for performing this type of testing. But for small scale websites and personal bloggers, buying every other new device and testing on it can be rather expensive. Therefore we present to you the top tools that could be used to check the compatibility of a site on different types of mobile devices, platforms and screens.

Mobile Device Emulator

Mobile Device Emulator is a highly customizable online application that displays how your site looks in nine different types of Smartphones. The nine devices include iPhone 3GS, 4 and 5 having screen resolution of 320×480, 640×960, and 640×1136 respectively, Blackberry 8900 curve (480×360), and Samsung Galaxy S2 (mdpi:320×533), the most popular Smartphones. You can view landscape and portrait rendering of your site on life like mobile devices. For checking the compatibility on mobile web browsers , open Mobile Device Emulator on that specific web browser’s computer edition and then run your site on it.

On entering the Mobile Device Emulators site you are prompted to input the screen size of your monitor according to which the site constructs life-size screen sizes of the phone devices. Each device also simulates their respective operating system therefore if your site is not compatible with let’s say iOS 6, then it won’t be displayed optimally on iPhone 5 emulator. You can even switch the language of the application to French from English and back.

Quirktool’s Screenfly

Screen fly is an online application that shows how your website will look on a desktop or laptop screen, 4 types of Tablet screens, eight types of mobile phone screens, and three different types of televisions. For those who don’t know, there are televisions available that can access the Internet directly and are increasingly gaining popularity for viewing online videos. The mobile device includes Motorola RAZR V3M and V8, blackberry 8300, iPhone 3 and 4, and Google Nexus S. Tablets include Samsung Galaxy tablet and iPad 1& 2.

This site only displays how your site will look relatively on the mobile screen, but the screen rendered is not real-life-sized. In this application also you can switch from portrait and landscape views.

iPadPeek

Dedicated only to iPhone devices, iPad Peek will render your site in a life-sized screen for iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and iPad. A simple, no customization required site, that is very popular with small time bloggers and iOS developers. The application is free to use and has both landscape viewing and portrait viewing support.

Matt Kersley’s Responsive Testing Tool

This tool by blogger and programmer Matt Kersely is a really useful online tool for checking your sites performance on different types of screen resolution and mobile devices side by side. Fast, easy to use and useful.

GoMo

GoMo is a Google initiative aimed at helping organizations, business and institutions become more mobile device friendly, by providing them with tools and services that could be used to optimize their websites for mobile devices. The “test your site” tool is a great way to check by yourself how your site fares in speed and visibility tests on mobile devices.

The best thing about this site is that Google, in order to promote the mobile revolution, is offering a free subscription to its premium services for a whole year. Through this service you can generate and make live a mobile compatible version of your website. Though the rendered version is not that attractive, it gets the job done efficiently.

Conclusion

All these tools are free and available for use online. Except for Mobile Phone Emulator, you can even load your locally hosted site on these tools. In addition to them there is also a W3C’s mobile compatibility testing tool {http://validator.w3.org/mobile/} that will show a rating for your site’s performance for a mobile device. However this tool has very strict standards so it is very difficult for non-professionals to get a high rating. But don’t get disheartened with it.

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