Lately I’ve been scouring the net for some mobile simulators / emulators that weren’t a ridiculous ordeal to install, and I came up with the following list of web-based and installed mobile device simulators / emulators that I thought others might find useful, so here you go: (Note, the majority of these are only useful for testing mobile websites & web-based apps. For testing native apps, you’ll need to download each device’s SDK & Emulator, or buy the device itself.)
- Opera Mobile Emulator 11 is an easy-to-install application which allows you to test your website on emulations of 22 real devices — including both smartphones and tablets such as HTC WildFire, Motorola Droid X, ExoPC Slate, and more. Highly recommend it.
- Opera Mini Simulator is a web-based Java-driven application which simulates Opera browsing on Opera Mini 6 (an Opera Mini 4.2 simulator is linked to on the right side of the screen as well, if you’re interested.)
- iOS Media Query Previewer is a neat web-based iPhone and iPad browser simulator. The iPad sim can be a little buggy, but they both give a decent preview of how optimized your site is for those screen sizes.
- Web App Tester is another web-based simulator which doesn’t really try to ‘be’ a specific device, but rather just gives another good preview of what your website looks like at 320×480 pixels. It has a landscape mode option as well.
- iPhone Simulator is yet another web-based iPhone screen-size simulator. If you have problems scrolling in the phone just hit the refresh icon beside the phone’s address bar.
- iPad Peek is one more web-based application which simulates — you guessed it, an iPad screen size. Click on the border at the top of the iPad image to rotate between landscape and portrait mode.
- ibbDemo2 is an awesome (albeit slightly laggy) iPhone / iPad emulator which can be installed on Windows machines. Has support for portrait / landscape orientations and zoom in / zoom out control. Again this emulator was a little bit laggy on my machine, and I had to use my arrow keys to scroll through web pages even though the emulator claims the mouse wheel works, but it’s still a very useful emulator and I really appreciate the hard work whoever created it put into it. Adobe Air is required to install it, as the download is a .air file.
- Google Android Emulator is a standalone application which can be run without installing. This one kind of let me down because it didn’t appear to have web connectivity, but I could have missed something. Still apparently useful for testing Android-ready apps, but I’m not really sure how that works either. The (better) alternative to this is to install the Android SDK, which comes with a very good emulator (with web connectivity), but the standalone app might be useful to people who don’t want to go through the SDK installation process.
So those are the simulators / emulators I found useful out of the many choices out there, but there are of course many, many more.
For more choices check out this article on Speckyboy.com.