Adobe Announces Shadow, A New Tool for HTML Mobile Development

I read on John Nack’s blog that Adobe has released a new tool to Labs called Adobe Shadow.  Shadow is a tool that lets you pair multiple mobile devices, both Android and iOS, with your web browser.  While paired, the mobile device will render the web page that is displayed within your browser (just Chrome I believe at this point).  You can pair as many devices as you want and communication is completely wireless.  You can even remotely tinker with the HTML and CSS being pushed to an individual device in real time, very cool.

So why would you want a tool like this?  If you’ve ever worked with HTML you know that every browser interprets the HTML specification differently and each browser has varying degrees of support for some of the more recent standards.  If you’re going to get serious about creating an HTML based mobile app, you need to test the app on real devices.  I imagine this can get very tedious when you’re targeting multiple mobile platforms and multiple form factors (tablet and phone).  Shadow aims to ease some of that pain by enabling you to instantly preview how your changes will look on the actual devices you’re targeting.

Remember when Firebug came out?  That one tool revolutionized how I did web design and development.  Instead of spending hours fiddling with CSS code, I could tweak a few things right in the browser and immediately see the results.  I could select an element from within the DOM and see exactly where it’s boundaries were and how the margin and padding were working out.  It seems like Shadow could fill a similar niche providing immediate visual feedback on the changes you’re making.  Definitely worth checking out.

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