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I'm thinking along the lines of a Firebug for the iPhone/iPad/Android/BB that can truly give more insight on the markup/scripts.

Even when testing on the simulator/device, it's hard to truly simulate the exact rendering of the mobile browser. I know that browsers such as Safari and Firefox can simulate it via changing User-Agents but that's not a true simulation of the actual mobile browser.

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Have you read the FAQ, Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and Real Questions Have Answers? I'm not sure this question fits. Every answer will be valid? –  Rebecca Chernoff May 3 '11 at 20:52
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I love this question. Mobile browser testing is the real wild west of testing technology right now - the best practices haven't been built yet. –  Bruce May 4 '11 at 6:42
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Community wiki? –  KatieK May 4 '11 at 23:03
    
I see lots of answers to the question, "What do I use to test mobile web apps?", but the actual question seems to be "What are some good tools for understanding what's going on in the mobile browser?" –  user246 Dec 13 '12 at 16:06

13 Answers 13

you can use the httpWatch for tracking the calls for iphone

Basic version (free): https://itunes.apple.com/app/id658886056

Professional version costs $99.99: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id641613694

Hope this will help

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Could you give some more information about this application? If you've used it, perhaps you could describe what it would do to solve the problem. –  Kate Paulk Jul 31 '13 at 20:03

My personal experience is with testing iOS devices so I can only refer to those. Your question is broken up into three separate parts so I will answer each of those in turn.

I'm thinking along the lines of a Firebug for the iPhone/iPad/Android/BB that can truly give more insight on the markup/scripts.

This is supported in iOS6 by enabling the "develop" mode on your phone. Under Settings > Safari > Advanced you need to set Web Inspector to on. You can then connect your phone to your mac, open safari and the web inspector that you access via the "develop" menu will show allow you to have similar functionality to firebug.

Even when testing on the simulator/device, it's hard to truly simulate the exact rendering of the mobile browser.

This statement is not correct. When you are testing on the device, by definition it HAS to be the exact rendering. In the iOS simulator, you are running the exact code that is running on the device, and, retina displays aside, the rendering is 100% accurate also.

I know that browsers such as Safari and Firefox can simulate it via changing User-Agents but that's not a true simulation of the actual mobile browser.

That is correct. Firefox does not use webkit as it's rendering engine, so changing the user agent will not show you how it looks on the mobile device. Whilst that is also true for the other Webkit based browsers (Safari and Chrome), they are usually pretty close. I would personally however just use the simulator. (That was not a viable option in the days before the AppStore where there was no iOS simulator, and we were all developing iPhone "web apps".)

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Another tool that you could use is Adobe Edge Inspect. From the information on the website,

Adobe Edge Inspect is a workflow and preview tool for testing and simulating across multiple mobile web browsers.

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MonkeyTalk v1.0.24 (which is previously Fone Monkey) is now available for download, with support for iOS 6 and Android 4.2...

You guys should definitely check it out.

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Using a desktop browser plug-in or user-agent switcher is not ideal for testing mobile web apps or web sites in general on mobile. It's just a bad idea.

If you need testing software that will run from your PC and simulate a variety of mobile devices, I'd recommend a 3rd party software built specifically for this purpose, not a browser's user-agent switcher.

One that I have some experience with, professionally and personally, is DeviceAnywhere. IMO, it's about as close as you can get without actually having each type of mobile device in your hand, though at times its response time can be on the slow side. Read about it here to see if it might fulfill your needs - I'm sure there are others out there as well but I don't have experience with them: http://www.keynotedeviceanywhere.com/

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To simulate a specific browser (including mobile) using Chrome, all you need to do is override the "User Agent" to instruct the browser to use an agent specific to a device, either by selecting it from a list, or entering the user agent string directly. Steps:

  1. Get Chrome if you don't already have it

  2. Click the wrench icon on the top right

  3. Goto Tools -> Developer Tools

  4. Click the gear icon on the bottom right

  5. Find the setting "Override User Agent", check it, and select the browser/device you want to emulate

  6. Refresh your page and inspect it. This is how it will look on the device you chose. (You'll have to re-size the browser to a phone-ish size if you've selected a mobile phone device)

Don't see the user agent string you're looking for in the list? Look here (http://www.useragentstring.com/pages/useragentstring.php) for an extensive list of user agent strings you can copy and paste into the free-form textbox.

More details here: http://tekprolixity.blogspot.com/2012/04/simulate-mobile-browser-using-chrome.html

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SQAForums has a number of forums specifically dedicated to different tools and testing techniques. In their Mobile Apps - PDAs & Embedded Systems forum, they've posted a sticky thread that documents the current list of tools that have been compiled by users on those forums. As I understand it, the moderator of that particular forum keeps that list relatively up to date and is adding to it based upon comments by other members. That might be a good resource to go to in order to find a current list of tools.

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As the said mod, I do try to post links as I find them, but any and all resources and links from the broader mobile testing community are greatly appreciated. –  Shane MacLaughlin Aug 19 '11 at 8:04
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Welcome, @Shane! Glad to see you here! –  TristaanOgre Aug 19 '11 at 12:07

1 Qaliber 2 Fone monkey 3 Sikuli 4 TestMaker 5 T-Plan robert 6 Eggplant 7 Routinebot 8 Test Quest pro 9 M-eux 10 Device Anywhere 11 Test Complete

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My company has a tool called apphance - works on both iOS and Android for real-time test communication (logs, problems, crashes etc...). We're running a beta-test right now.

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Can you explain how this helps you understand what's going on inside of the mobile browser? –  user246 Dec 13 '12 at 16:11

For the iPhone, you can try this Emulator. http://www.pieceable.com/viewer/.

Ideally in any given mobile project, hardware would be your best option, then emulators next. Device Anywhere is the bridge between emulation and real iron so it's really up to your company and what budget they have.

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Selenium 2 offers both iphone and android testing. They are experimental.

http://code.google.com/p/selenium/wiki/IPhoneDriver

http://code.google.com/p/selenium/wiki/AndroidDriver

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Downvoting because this doesn't seem to answer the actual question, which is, "What are some good tools for understanding what's going on in the mobile browser?" –  user246 Dec 13 '12 at 16:07

One element to think about playing with is Selenium 2. It's a combination of the Web Driver and Selenium projects. I know internally we've been able to get the agent working for both iPhone and Android devices. That doesn't solve your Firebug issue, but it will give you a way to automate functional and ui tests against those devices.

When it comes to the Blackberry, we've struck out all over. My last research - admittedly done 3 months ago - revealed that Windows based emulators are the best way to test against apps that run on the RIM OS.

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Does that require a jailbroken iPhone? or does it drive the emulator? –  Bruce McLeod May 4 '11 at 13:52
    
The iPhone loads a connector via Selenium 2. –  terryp May 4 '11 at 16:00
    
It runs on actual device –  Tarun May 4 '11 at 16:07

"ShootMe" (Screen Grabber) Allows you take screenshots of your device and also do screencasting up to 30 fps

"Log Collector" Collects a device log and sends it to a developer using a method (email, messaging, etc.) of your choice.

Both of these are a staple when it comes to testing mobile web apps and can be found in the Andriod marketplace.

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