Programming Web

How to test web applications without having all mobile devices?

Last week I worked on my jQuery plugin apOverlay which will be a part for my apWindow plugin hat gets published in the next two or three weeks. In all modern browsers there are no problems at all – ha, that’s wrong! This is only the half the truth because this statement counts only in normal browser, not completely on mobile devices and its default browsers. But how to test if the implementation is correct? No one wants to buy each phone, PDA, tablet… Well, there is the way to look for simulators but that’s not so easy sometimes :)

Most simulators I found are no real simulators. In most cases they only restrict only the viewport to the resolution of the mobile device, like “iPad Emulator“, a very bad example I think. Furthermore there are some iPhone simulators that use the normal WebKit engine of the installed Safari and display the position: fixed CSS style correctly, what’s not the case on an iPhones. And there are a lot’s of more problems I found in the last two nights… That’s why I started this post. Here you can find a list of hints and links how to test your web application on a special mobile browser without having the device itself.


I have never seen any mobile device with the Opera Mobile browser as default. It’s a general browser for most systems. You can download the Opera Mobile emulator for Windows, Mac or Linux. With this software you can test the newest mobile browser from Opera on you local computer. There is also a option (Settings > User Agent) to change the user agent to the most common devices: default (don’t know what is meant here ;) ), S60, Windows Mobile, Android.


The default browser on the iPhone is based on WebKit. So in most cases it’s enough to test the web application in Safari. But there are some special cases where it’s necessary to test in real iPhone environment. Therefore Apple offers the iOS SDK which includes a iPhone simulator.

For all those who have no Mac they can theoretically use VMWare or VirtualBox to run Mac OS X under Windows or Linux.

To be completed/tested…

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One reply on “How to test web applications without having all mobile devices?”

> I have never seen any mobile device with the Opera Mobile browser as
> default

Many HTC Windows Mobile 6.5 devices do so, for instance the HTC Touch 2

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