Debugging mobile and tablet websites on iOS on Windows or locally on device

13 Jun

I was doing some research and came across these useful tools one can use to debug and analyze mobile/tablet versions of websites/web applications in the case one doesn’t have a Mac handy to do the remote Safari debugging.

Remote Safari debugging on Windows

You can try option of using Telerik AppBuilder (Windows client) as a replacement on Windows for Safari debugger on Mac when remote debugging. There’s a nice blog post about the steps to do it in link below.

http://blog.falafel.com/Blogs/josh-eastburn/2014/03/04/ios-web-inspector-on-windows-with-telerik-appbuilder

The process of using it is much the same as with Safari remote debugging. Have the app open, connect device to Windows via USB, have Safari open on device, then browse device in the app, and open debugger in the app. The tool also will require you to create a Telerik account, and either load/use the default app or create a blank (javascript?) app just to use for debugging mobile Safari on your device.

The tool requires a license or you can use the trial, which becomes a starter edition afterwards. I think the starter edition will still allow you to do the debugging.

NOTE: using this method may require you to have the iOS device drivers to be able to interact with it from AppBuilder. You can get the device drivers by installing iTunes, but if you want to avoid that bloat, you can try to get just the drivers by searching online or downloading iTunes and extracting out the drivers from the installer so you only install the drivers rather than the whole iTunes package, both of which are not covered in this blog post.

Local device debugging on iOS/iPhone/iPad

You can also try these iOS apps below, you can find them in the iTunes App store. They give you built in developer tools like feature (right on iOS, no remote debugging needed) that mobile Safari doesn’t offer. However, they are not the native mobile Safari view/app, though I think it might use the internals of mobile Safari/Webkit to be close enough. These apps are useful when you don’t have a Mac or Windows PC around to do remote debugging with, so you can debug locally on the device through the apps.

MIH Tool – basic edition

HTTPWatch Basic – HTTP Sniffer and Debugger

I gave them a try and they’re at least better than the mobile Safari you get on iOS, unless one needs to target full mobile Safari compatibility. I’m guessing the pro/paid editions of those apps give you more/better features, I confirmed that was the case for HTTPWatch.

Update 7/30/14 – remote Safari debugging that is open source & cross platform

Found this today https://github.com/google/ios-webkit-debug-proxy. Works for Linux, Mac, and Windows support eventually to come. I haven’t tested this out myself though. However, except for tinkering with things, cross platform, and open source. I’d say this option is best when working under Linux. On Mac, better to go with the native support from Apple. And for now, Windows is better with the option presented above with an easy GUI for novices.

Update 8/8/2014 – another Safari remote debug for Windows

Adding on previous update, found a Windows port: https://github.com/artygus/ios-webkit-debug-proxy-win32

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3 Responses to “Debugging mobile and tablet websites on iOS on Windows or locally on device”

  1. jilani pasha October 7, 2016 at 6:23 am #

    Awesome.. I have been looking for this from a long time.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tips on mobile and tablet device testing shared usage and remote testing outside corporate network | autumnator - June 6, 2015

    […] For Windows, see Debugging mobile and tablet websites on iOS – on Windows or locally on device […]

  2. iOS mobile testing tips | autumnator - June 6, 2015

    […] Debugging mobile and tablet websites on iOS – on Windows or locally on device […]

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