Adobe Systems Incorporated has unveiled a free preview of Adobe BrowserLab, a new hosted service that enables Web designers to quickly view and test their sites on a wide variety of browsers and operating systems.
Previously code-named Meer Meer, Adobe BrowserLab provides Web professionals with real-time accurate screenshots of browser renderings and includes multiple viewing and diagnostic tools to help designers pinpoint compatibility issues that can compromise the design and layout integrity of a Web site or page.
“Cross-browser testing has been one of the biggest challenges for Web designers because it is such an arduous and time-intensive task,” said Lea Hickman, director, Creative Solutions Business Unit at Adobe. “Now with Adobe BrowserLab, designers have a simple solution that enables comprehensive browser compatibility testing in just a matter of minutes, leaving Web designers with more time to be creative and deliver the high-impact sites customers are demanding.”
Key Features of Adobe BrowserLab include support for all modern browsers and operating systems so that Web designers can see how their Web pages will appear across multiple browsers and on a variety of platforms. The initial set of browsers that are supported include Windows Internet Explorer 6.x and 7.x; Firefox 2.x and 3.x; and Safari 3.x.
This capability is enabled by virtualization technology, hosted through a cloud-based application, which eliminates the need to have browsers installed on a system before testing a site. Adobe BrowserLab lets designers compare and contrast browsers via an interface that works on any Adobe Flash Player 10 enabled operating system, making it compatible with Mac and Windows.
In addition, Adobe BrowserLab includes multiple viewing and diagnostic tools to help Web designers easily spot potential issues. For example, designers can view two screenshots from different browsers side-by-side, or they can use the “onion skin mode” to overlay screenshots on top of one another with variable opacity. There is also a zoom function to help zero-in on bugs. Testing preferences can be customized and saved with Browser Sets, for designers who work with specific platforms.
While Adobe BrowserLab can be used by any Web designer it provides Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 users extended capabilities to also test Flash technology-based and interactive site elements, including dynamic widgets, rollover effects and AJAX driven content. The direct integration with Dreamweaver CS4 streamlines workflows and allows designers to preview both local and remote Web content without the worry of firewalls or publicly posting confidential client projects.
The software is available now in English only as a free preview on a first-come, first-serve basis. International versions and the list of supported browsers and operating systems that can be previewed with BrowserLab is expected to grow over time based on customer feedback and demand.