IE help from Microsoft - Modern.ie
Microsoft have released a series of tools aimed at better testing and support of Internet Explorer. http://www.modern.ie/
What Microsoft are offering is actually pretty cool, a 3 month trial to browser stacks, a remote testing VM. This allows you to connect to a browser running on a Windows OS using a particular version of IE, from IE6 to 10. The only concession is 3 fixed resolutions, 800x600, 1024x768 and 1280x1024. This tool will be a big help to those looking for a way not to have local VMs or spare computers. It costs $19/month for a single user if you like it after the 3 month trial.
Microsoft have also included a series of Virtual machines on several platforms for testing. You can also select different VM packages such as virtual box. http://www.modern.ie/en-us/virtualization-tools
The best feature available here is the IE report, a quick way to test your websites browser rating according to IE’s abilities. It outputs a list of areas you can improve your site such as vendor prefixes, browser plugins, compatibility modes and more.
Hopefully this will help those looking to better serve IE.
Testing front end changes quickly and easily
In this post I will show you how to take lots of screenshots at lots of breakpoints, compare live sites to local changes, then use a diff tool to compare them all. The outcome, a quick and easy way to test front end changes. This is achieved by using a screen shot service, an image diff tool and a browser, screenshot as a service, PhantomJS and ChunkyPNG. You will also need to have NodeJS installed.
Viewing network traffic on any device
In this post, i will talk about how to view network traffic and the HAR (HTTP Archive) file. This is useful for doing several things, my initial intention was to discover network traffic from mobile devices. This was something i wanted to view in order to find out whether our vary headers and stats were correctly being logged, but there is also an interesting way to measure performance.
A week online with the Surface
For a week now, I have been using the Microsoft Surface, the latest gadget in the mobile world. A tablet computer in it’s basic form, but also a work device, featuring office applications and the Windows explorer. This device is not the first tablet that I have owned, I purchased a HP Touchpad at reduced cost over a year ago, though I stopped using it after a few months. Ultimately, it didn’t offer all the features I wanted, not to mention the terrible web browser, so thought now was the time to make a choice, the Microsoft Surface was my new tablet.
IE 10 on Windows8 - A few Windows tips
With Windows 8 now out, the final release of IE 10, both Desktop and Modern UI(formally Metro) browsers. They are the same, but have very different user interfaces, one touch based, the other a conventional Desktop browser. The RT verions, this is not Windows 8 RT, rather a seperate OS callled Windows RT, has an ARM implementation of the browser to.
The best devices to get in order to test IE 10 on are probably the Samsung Ativ or the Microsoft Surface. Both available now.
In testing out the browser, there are a few things to help you in terms of gestures and shortcut keys.
Keep up to date!
Over the last week or so, Nokia have been pushing updates to lots of phones, these are running the latest versions of Symbian, S60 V10 or Symbian Belle. Although the support list for this version of the OS for devices is small, the main ones are covered. These phones now have access to the latest version of the Symbian browser, Nokia Belle Refresh for Nokia N8, Nokia E7, Nokia C7, Nokia C6….
What this means for us is that the new version has enough support to cut the mustard, in this case the N8 loads the smartphone version of the website. This change of browser is something we dont see often, but when it happens, it opens up a lot of possibilities for users, but also exposes some issues. As you can see in the image, the font embedding support is spotty, so worth testing all aspects of your site for other issues.
Ultimately, this is a good example of why you should be checking phones for updates all the time, ensuring you are testing the latest releases.
Colours in Android
The interesting thing about Android is it can sometimes behave differently, even on the same hardware. Here is a video playing on 2 Galaxy Nexus phones, the top is using Android 4.1(Jellybean), the bottom is using Android 4.0(ICS). When both phones are using the same auto brightness option, the phone will give a slightly different colour, note the individuals jacket. Nothing you can do here as many different phones have very different brightness options, but something to keep an eye on when testing. Hopefully the user will never notice….
No More OS4
The end has come for our little Blackberry OS4 device. Eight or nine months ago it was still relevant, it had a solid user base which was slowly shrinking. However, the pressure for Blackberry juicers to upgrade seems to have become too much, mostly bowing to Android and iOS.
While many of you will have given up testing on OS4, or perhaps not even started….It remained a more highly used OS than Windows Phone 7 until the last couple of months, so ensuring this user group remained happy was still important to me.
Finally though, this 6 year old OS with terrible browser support is nearly dead. It joins the ranks of webOS, Meego, Windows Mobile, Android 1.x and early versions of iOS. We salute your Blackberry OS4, the first real “smartphone” OS is put to bed.
Here is a question, are you still supporting BB OS4?
WEb INspector REmote
Weinre, a WEb INspector REmote tool for webkit browsers. It has been included in some tools such as the Adobe Shadow application, though this requires the device to have the application and the computer to have the app….and the browser to have the plugin.
How long do mobile browsers last?
There have been a lot of articles recently that are talking about when to stop/drop support for IE, specifically IE8. This is a big deal for those who are stuck on Windows XP or Vista, but don’t have the option to update. So i started looking at what people will do with mobile browsers.