With the launch of the latest Chrome beta this morning, Google introduced a number of new tools for mobile developers that should make it a bit easier for them to test their mobile web apps right from the desktop. The beta channel for desktop and Android now allows developers to debug their apps using an improved viewport emulation to model mobile devices, screens and touch events as well as screencast-enabled remote debugging.
Until now, developers had to go through quite a few steps and use an extension or drop down to the command line to start debugging on a connected device. Now, Mac users can just plug in a device over USB, and the Chrome Beta will natively support remote debugging. Any instance of Chrome or the Chrome-powered WebView on the device will be available on the desktop and all your keyboard and mouse events are automatically sent to the device. Windows users will have to install a device driver to enable this feature.
With the improved viewport emulation, Google says, developers will have ”full control of the emulation parameters, such as screen resolution, touch emulation, devicePixelRatio, user agent, sensors and many more.” The page will run through the same mobile viewporting code as in mobile Chrome to help developers get accurate results on their desktop.
If you really love your Chrome DevTools and have 25 minutes to spare, also take a look at Paul Irish’s talk at the Chrome Dev Summit last month, which covers these new features in more detail.