Mobile development just got a whole lot easier. Recently released, Adobe Shadow allows web pros to easily control, view, and inspect web content on multiple devices via the browser. Managing Editor Julie Campagna interviews members of the Shadow development team.
Julie Campagna: Hi, I'm Julie Campagna. I manage Inspire Magazine. Recently, Adobe unveiled Adobe Shadow, which is a preview and inspection tool for testing websites on smartphones and tablets. In this video, we're going to talk to a couple of the engineers who were involved with developing Shadow: Mark Rausch and Archna Panwar. Mark’s going to tell us all about Shadow and then Archna's going to give us a demo. So Mark, what problem was the product team trying to solve in developing Shadow?
Mark Rausch: Anybody who's developing websites today has to be thinking about mobile devices. Device testing has been a huge pain point out there. We went and talked to a lot of different web designers and developers, we were hearing they were spending a lot of their time checking out everything on these devices. There are so many different devices with different browsers, different operating system versions, different screen sizes, and these creative professionals want to spend their time being creative. Shadow helps solve that problem.
Julie: So can we go see Shadow in action?
Mark: Yeah, I think Archna is ready to go.
Julie: All right, let's go see Archna.
Archna Panwar: Hi Julie.
Julie: Hi Archna. Looks like you're ready to give us a demo.
Archna: Oh, yes, I was waiting for you. I'm all set, and I'll show you how Shadow works and what it does. So I will start with this Shadow application. We do have a helper application which is required for Shadow to run, and we have a Chrome extension. And I'm already ready-set for around 20 devices. They're already paired, but I'll show you an initial pairing of one of the devices. I'll get it paired.
And in the Chrome extension, you just enter this passcode. That's a one-step process. Once the device is paired, you can see they are following the Chrome extension URL. And if I change, they will follow without touching the devices. I do not have to do anything. It's only from the desktop. It is controlled from the desktop.
Julie: Now what happens if you find a problem on one of the devices?
Archna: So I'll show you an example here. I'll go back to my Citrus site. We do have a feature which is called remote inspection, which is done through the Weinre server. And on one of my tablets I'll pick, I want to change my CSS. If I go through the tablet, you will see on that particular tablet only - not the others - on that particular tablet, I can see the elements being highlighted. And you can go in detail and make a change. What I'll do, I'll change the color from black to orange. And you can immediately see the color change, how it looks on that particular device. So this will help the developers and designers to make the changes to the CSS and see how it looks on a particular device, how it reacts to it, and develop their websites accordingly.
Julie: Great. Now, I have to ask. You've got about almost 20 devices here. How long did it take for you to set all these devices up to do this demo?
Archna: To tell you the truth, all these devices are on a wireless network, and it took me only 20 minutes to pair the devices. It was so fast. And once I was paired, then it was a matter of minutes, and the devices follow.
Julie: Wow, that's awesome.
Julie: Wow, that is quite a few devices to be carrying around, Archna. Thanks so much for doing all the setup. So where can people download Adobe Shadow?
Archna: Adobe Shadow is free from Adobe Labs.
Julie: Great. And Mark, obviously we're in beta here with Adobe Shadow. What's next?
Mark: Well, like you said, it's an early release, and we've got it out there specifically so that people can download it, try it, and give us feedback and tell us what features they want or how they'd like it work differently. We're eager to hear whatever people have to say.
Julie: Great. Well, there you have it. Adobe Shadow. It's currently available on Adobe Labs for free, so download it, check it out, and let us know what you think. I hope you enjoy this edition of Inspire Magazine.