As a webmaster, we all have to take care of the growing mobile userbase and have to optimise our blogs/sites for mobiles as well. And with the wide range of Smartphones available, it becomes a bit expensive to have every kind of test device with us to test your own sites. Ofcourse, we can ask our friends to test for us but wouldn’t it be best if we could test our sites easily from PC itself without owning the device itself. Emulators have made the job very easy to test sites for any kind of smartphones available. Here I will list how to test your sites for Ipod, Ipad, Iphones, Blackberry and Android Based phones directly from PC. Also will be listing about testing for Opera Mini and Opera Mobile browsers.
For Ipod, Iphone and Ipad
Now there are many online simulators for all these devices but the best tool to test your site for them is Apple’s Safari Browser. Safari provides you to test your sites for all three devices by changing the user agent from its Develop Menu. Latest version of Safari hides its menu bar and both its develop menu. You need to enable them first. To show the Menu bar first, click the following button and click Show Menu bar under it.
Now that you have got the menu bar, time to enable the Develop menu. To show that, go to Edit Menu or click Ctrl+, and now select the Advanced Tab and check mark the option “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.
Now that you have got the Develop menu, to test any site go to develop menu and select User agent and select any of the device you want to test your site for.
You can not only test for these devices but also test for different versions of OS for them. You won’t find any simulator doing better than Safari itself.
Blackberry offers simulators for different models of its phones which you can download from their site. But the part I don’t like is that they have too many simulators for each different model of phone and there is no unified simulator. If anyone knows of any unified simulator for Blackberry devices, please share the link.
Blackberry Tablet Simulator is also available and can be downloaded from their Tablet OS SDK page.
For Android Phones
To test your phones in Android, you would need the Android SDK Package. Various Phones running Android offer their own version of Emulator/Skins which would require you to have Android SDK pre-installed. Check with your vendor’s website if they are offering any such emulator/skin for their phones.
For Opera Mini
For Opera Mobile
Opera Mobile has its own downloadable simulator available from Opera’s site. They offer for both versions – 10 and 10.1
Now I have left many phones and mobile devices which require testing. The ones I mentioned are the most common and widely used. Testing your site for these are very important. But you may need to test for other devices as well. For that purpose, do read the exhaustive list of Mobile Emulators/Simulators at Mobile Web programming blog.