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Web developers have to test websites on specific browsers to ensure the site’s compatibility with said browser’s specifications. Tests are run repeatedly during development to help them verify how every change to the codebase reflects in the browser. This process ensures that web developers are optimizing their sites for the real world.
However, developers must bear in mind that in 2021’s first quarter, 54.8% of global website traffic came from mobile devices. As a result, they need to ensure that websites are well-optimized to run on mobile browsers. Chrome is indisputably the leading mobile browser with a current market share of 64.06% worldwide. Hence testing mobile versions of websites on Chrome is crucial.
This article aims to explain how developers can open a website’s mobile view in Chrome browser via desktop. It also explains how one can test websites on real mobile devices online.
Why test mobile version of a website on real Chrome browsers?
As mentioned above, Chrome is the most popular browser in the market. Given that a significant number of users access the internet via Chrome, any website or web app must be compatible with it to adequately serve those users. Additionally, there are multiple versions of Chrome, and a website must be able to render and operate flawlessly on each. There is also the question of how a specific Chrome version may interact with the hardware specifications of a particular device, adding another layer of verification required in the website development pipeline.
Needless to say, emulators and simulators are unable to replicate all the specifications required for accurate testing. They may not contain and utilize all the features of every Chrome version, which means that any test run on emulators and simulators will be able to provide only inconclusive results.
It is much easier and far more effective to view and test websites on real Chrome browsers. Not only does it guarantee 100% accurate results, but it also reduces a step in the testing process. No website can be released without being tested on real browsers and devices. Therefore, it is best to do away with emulators and simulators completely, and just test on a real device cloud.
Now, let’s explore 2 methods on how to view mobile versions of websites on Chrome.
Using Device Simulation in Chrome DevTools for Mobile View
Users can view the mobile version of a website by using Chrome Devtools.
Note that this is not a fully reliable method as it uses a simulator rather than a real device and browsers to get the job done. Therefore, it cannot replicate all real user conditions, which means that any tests executing by this method will be inconclusive. For 100% accurate results, use the second method – using real browsers.
Listed below are the steps to view the mobile version of a website on Chrome:
- Open DevTools by pressing F12.
- Click on the “Device Toggle Toolbar” available. (Icon turns blue when the device mode is turned on)
- Choose a device you want to simulate from the list of iOS and Android devices.
- Once the desired device is chosen, it displays the mobile view of the website.
For web developers to gain accurate test insights, extensive testing on real devices is non-negotiable. It enables them to verify websites in real user conditions.
Read More: 10 must-have Chrome Extensions for testers
BrowserStack’s Real Device Cloud for Live Testing
The ideal way to test a website is to test it on a real device. This helps developers monitor websites on mobile browsers that are installed on real Android and iOS devices. By doing so, QAs can evaluate how a website performs across multiple mobile devices and browsers in the real world.
BrowserStack’s real device cloud provides 3000+ real devices and browsers to test on.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to get started with viewing the mobile version of a website on Chrome:
- Sign up for a free BrowserStack account.
- Navigate to BrowserStack Live.
- Once the dashboard opens, you’ll be able to choose from thousands of browser-device combinations.
- Choose the device-browser combination you want to test on. In this example, it will be a Chrome browser running on Samsung Galaxy S10.
- After selecting the device and browser, a new test session will initiate on the chosen hardware-software.
- Navigate to the website you want to view on mobile and check how it renders.
Additionally, a few highlights of BrowserStack’s real device cloud:
- No setup nor download needed
- Latest Android devices from Samsung, Oneplus, Google, and Motorola
- Latest Apple devices like iPhone X, iPhone 11 Pro
- Multiple versions of leading browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera installed on real devices
QAs can test on any real Android or iOS mobile device directly from their browser. They do not have to download any browsers or emulators. To open a mobile version of a website on Chrome, QAs can simply log in, select the device-browser-OS combination and start testing. The image below is an exact representation of a live testing session (Chrome Browser Testing on Samsung S10+) on BrowserStack.
BrowserStack also provides the following features :
- Upfront access to DevTools that enables inspection of web elements on the page
- Geo-location testing
- Integrations with popular bug reporting tools like Jira, Trello, and Slack
- Testing of features like pinch to zoom and device rotation
The methods explained above can help developers eliminate their pain points while debugging any issue. These methods also help optimize a website’s performance across multiple devices. Knowing how to open a website’s mobile view in Chrome is an essential part of a QA engineer’s skillset, and this article will help them with mastering this skill.