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The Current State Of Remote Debugging For Mobile

Remote debugging allows us to execute and capture code in remote devices, providing a way to inspect HTML, CSS and JavaScript and make live changes. In terms of mobile, this means a way for us to communicate with mobile devices so we can debug code on them directly rather than just relying on emulators.

The landscape for remote debugging your apps on mobile is quite strong at the moment.

Chrome for Android supports remote debugging via USB and allows you to debug using the Chrome Developer Tools. (See: https://developers.google.com/chrome/mobile/docs/debugging and Chrome for Android Remote Debugging for +Boris Smus's video walkthrough)

Opera has had support for remote debugging since 2008 and Dragonfly can remotely connect to Opera Mobile. (Tut: http://www.codegeek.net/blog/2012/mobile-debugging-with-opera-dragonfly/)

Firefox for Android has had support for remote debugging since July and introduced support for this in Firefox 15. (Tut: https://hacks.mozilla.org/2012/08/remote-debugging-on-firefox-for-android/)

Safari on iOS6 includes an official Remote Web Inspector which will work with Macs. You'll have to use Safari 6 for Desktop to get it working, but there's a good tutorial available on this as well http://www.mobilexweb.com/blog/iphone-5-ios-6-html5-developers.

There are also tons of great apps that can help with remote debugging, such as +Remy Sharp's  jsconsole.com or Weinre.

For a run-down on remote debugging and some more of your options, you might like to checkout Ryan Seddons excellent talk on the subject http://thecssninja.com/talks/remote_debugging/

Animated GIF credits: Marcio Massaki 
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15 comments
 
I think I've got a bit of catching up to do.
 
BlackBerry 7, 7.x, 10 and the PlayBook also offers remote debugging through the network. While it's based on (and limited by) Weinre, I believe Adobe Edge Inspect deserves a mention.
 
Adobe Shadow would have deserved a mention, but Edge Inspect is a literal shadow of its former self since it requires a monthly subscription to be remotely useful. All puns intended.
 
I know what you mean and I'm not making a defense of Adobe, but you can get a free Creative Cloud account to use Edge Inspect. The only restriction is that you can connect with only one device at a time.
 
Yeah... I suppose with remote debugging there is not a huge loss of functionality since you can only click through one DOM at a time, no matter how many devices are connected.
 
Great post - this is really useful to me - thanks a ton
 
Please tell me how you are propping up the phone in this photo! Need whatever tool you're using
 
addy , What about debbug native android browser.. no chrome?
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