Follow up on User Agent and how to test mobile sites

>If you long to see what a site that is optimised for mobile will look like but don’t have a mobile device to hand what do you do?

In yesterday’s post I alluded to a couple of tools for switching your user agent so that smart sites that define their behaviour accordingly are fooled.  Well it’s probably a good idea to give you a some links to these.

My favourite is a firefox addon called User Agent Switcher by chrispederick – and you can get it at:

Safari 5 has an easy built in User agent switcher, to activate you need go into options\preferences – under the advanced tab there is a mysterious check box that says”Show developer menu in menu bar”

Once you’ve ticked this the menu bar will – as indicated – include a “develop” option…. see this image
I rather like the Safari switcher – and if you size the browser you can get quite a realistic looking replica of an iPhone, and because the menu bars auto-hide it’s easy to get good screenshots.
I haven’t yet tried one for chrome – but have found one:
I’ll try that tomorrow.
And finally the most pointless one of all is for IE8, which you can get at :
I say this one is pointless – because IE8 doesn’t use webkit so from what I found today you get none of the groovy mobile functionality.  No transitions, in fact, for me the site under test was not functional.  
But then when you try and get IE to pretend to be an iPhone what do you really expect?

Another day – another feature discovered

I’ve been getting ready to test a website that is being optimised for mobile technologies. To test this I’ve been using Safari 5, where you can spoof the User-Agent to be iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, and also Firefox with the excellent add-on of User Agent Switcher.

Both of these allowed me to see how the site was coming along – but when it came to recording for my load tests I had to think for a moment.
I’ve always just used Internet Explorer in VUgen, but now the super smarts of the website under test would detect it and… show the main website – not the mobile optimised site.
Not to worry – I installed Safari 5 and changed the settings in the recording options to use Safari instead…. No worries.
I already knew that I could set the User-Agent in the Runtime settings – but I wasn’t to pleased with this as it is a little hit or miss as to whether someone checks them all before running.
Not to worry – I extended the use of the web_add_header which I have previously used for testing the website with and without HTTPZip compression.
So just by adding :
web_add_header(“User-Agent”,”Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/1A543 Safari/419.3″);

I was able to programmatically test as if I was an iPhone.
This pleased me and allowed me to run my tests , now I just need to figure out how to get Xenu Link Sleuth to pretend to be an iPhone too!