Bugaboo for iPhone Aims To Make Web App Debugging A Bit Less Painful

Whenever I’m hanging around any new people who seem even slightly tech-minded, I try to avoid mentioning who I work for. Now, I don’t mean that in a shady way — it’s not because I’m scheming away, waiting for them to slip-up and say something I can turn into a story. It’s because it pretty much always takes the conversation down the exact same road:

“Oh, you write for TechCrunch? Cool!” Then there’s a moment or two of silence as the gears turn and they think back through everything they’ve said, then “Sooo.. how do I get [insert product name here] on TechCrunch?”

The answer varies a bit each time (the easiest route, honestly, is to just make an awesome pitch to our tips email), but the guy behind a new web debugging iPhone app, Bugaboo, found a pretty novel way: through our IT guy.

To make a short story shorter: At TechCrunch Disrupt last week, Andy Brett (the unsung hero of TechCrunch who keeps things working behind the scenes while we all blame him for stuff that usually isn’t his fault) lead the Hackathon. Mid-way through, Bugaboo developer Ishan Anand approached Andy to show him his new app — by the end of the day, it had found its way into my queue of stuff to write about.

Why am I telling you this? Because it just goes to show: if you want to reach a writer’s ear (be it a TechCrunch writer or any other outlets), it’s all about finding a way through the noise. (With that said, the Andy route probably wouldn’t work again. He’s a busy dude.)

Lengthy tangent aside, on to the aforementioned product: Bugaboo for iPhone.

As Ishan puts it: “Bugaboo gives mobile web developers an easier way to debug and develop compelling HTML mobile web applications.”

You see, contrary to what the name might imply, Safari for OS X and Safari Mobile aren’t exactly the same inside. They’re close — really, really close — but the seemingly subtle differences are just big enough to make a web app developer’s life a bit harder. Given the lack of development/debug tools for Safari Mobile, most will just do all their initial testing on Safari for OS X, then work backwards through any issues specific to Safari Mobile.

Bugaboo is looking to change up this process a bit by granting developers an interactive Javascript console for any site they’ve got loaded on their iPhone. Just open up Bugaboo, navigate to the page in question, tap the Wireless Network button, and then use your PC to navigate to the IP address that Bugaboo displays. Bam — you can now send Javascript to that page, allowing you to preview tweaks to your design and debug things without endless refreshes.

It’s obviously not an app that every iPhone owner will need in their armory — but those who do need it certainly know it. If that includes you, you can find Bugaboo on the App Store for 99 cents [iTunes Link]. Not sure if that’s you? Check out the videos below.