Adobe Shadow: Synchronized Mobile Website Testing

Mobile website developers should start jumping with joy after what they find out here. Adobe Labs released Adobe Shadow, with this software you can test simultaneously mobile website on multiple devices. Somebody can think that Shadow is another one emulator/simulator but it’s not! Shadow is working on your computer with actual devices.

If you have never tested your site on numerous devices at a time, the fact that Shadow consist of four separate apps may give you an idea how difficult it is. Once you’ve installed all components Shadow starts testing websites after pressing “Refresh” button. Shadow automatically mirrors whatever you do on your desktop to all connected devices.


Image Copyright: hammer.net

This can be a really brave statement but Shadow can be the most useful Adobe’s project built for mobile developers, especially for those engaged with responsive design. Responsive webdesign allows to create pleasing web experience for users surfing the web with an absolutely diverse range of devices, still responsive design adds a whole lot of development work. With Shadow you can see all the changes you do to your websites in real time what makes testing simple and easy. The whole process resembles synchronized swimming, by debugging and making changes in Google Chrome you will see the results on each connected device.

Still there are two minor “problems” with Shadow. The testing through Shadow can be fulfilled only in WebKit mobile browsers. Shadow is another reason for developers to ignore non-WebKit browsers. While Shadow is great, it won’t give you the whole picture, yet.

Bruce Bowman, Senior Product Manager of Shadow made it clear that Adobe plans to keep expanding Shadow’s capabilities as the project progresses. No need to panic, the capabilities of this great application will soon be extended and all mobile developers will benefit from this awesome project.

Another one difficulty that is connected with Shadow is that its usefulness is directly related to the number of iOS and Android devices you have on hand. Large web development companies will benefit more as they are ready to invest more money into mobile devices. For individual devs Shadow may be not-so-handy as they have not as many devices as it is needed. Shadow may cause a mobile device swap among designers bringing together a wide range of mobile devices and taking turns testing websites. Thanks to its live editing capabilities Shadow can make that process considerably easier and faster.

The functionalities of the Shadow

With Shadow you can connect wirelessly multiple iOS & Android devices to your computer. Synchronously browse, inspect & debug on devices. After installing Shadow on your computer, you’ll be able to pair your devices, have them browse in sync with your computer, and perform remote inspection and debugging so you can see HTML/CSS/JavaScript changes on your device. Shadow package includes: Windows/OS X, iOS/Android apps, and a Chrome Extension.

Shadow for OS X and Windows;
Shadow for Android;
Shadow for iOS.

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Features:

  • Wirelessly pair your Android and iOS devices to your computer;
  • Synchronously browse with your computer;
  • Target a device for debugging, select an element in the DOM, then:
    • Make changes to your HTML markup;
    • Tweak your CSS rules;
    • See changes instantly, on your device.
  • localhost, 127.0.0.1, and machine.local support;
  • HTTP authentication support;
  • *NEW* Take screenshots of devices, saved on your computer;
  • *NEW* Clear the cache on your devices and refresh the page;
  • *NEW* Self-signed certificate support.

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Mobile website testing is really time and effort consuming activity, because you need to check whether all elements are displayed correctly on each device you choose. Adobe Shadow is a perfect solution for mobile website developers allowing to provide simultaneous website testing on numerous devices.

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