Even If You Hate Adobe - Go, Get Adobe Shadow
March 14, 2012
For some hardcore Apple fans, sane people that hate Flash and the rest of humanity that also hates Flash Adobe is more evil than Microsoft ever was. Only surviving on some tools media artists, web developers and other creative people need. And you know what? It is justified that they managed to survive with those. The newest tool from Adobe Labs, Adobe Shadow, proves this again and is a welcome addition to my toolchain.
I recently talked about responsive web design and other stuff. No matter if your approach is a more classic one or if you declare everything new and shiny as the best thing since sliced bread - there is one thing you will likely do: Design a site for mobile devices.
Depending on your workflow and tools you use there is one thing that you do really often. Hit refresh. On every device. Many times a day on different devices to test all those resolutions and browser incompatibilities and how to fix them. Adobe came up with a solution.
Entrance: Adobe Shadow
If you do not want to watch the promotion video, then here is a short explanation. You install Adobe Shadow on your workstation, on your mobile devices and a Chrome plugin. After pairing your devices with your browser they refresh the content of your page every time you hit your refresh button or press Command-R or whatever you use.
But this is not everything. Adobe Shadow has a lot more features. Far more interesting and a lot more useful: Firebug. Or something that is pretty similar to Firebug. You can modify and change your HTML and CSS code that is rendered on your devices.
A huge improvement compared to editing your Sass file, compiling it, maybe uploading it to your server, hitting refresh just to notice that you screwed up the z-index and your site looks broken. Easy and fast testing without consequences, even on live sites.
Currently Firebug is the best reason for me to use Adobe Shadow. Running quick tests how to fix a design problem I found on a site that is already live without complicated setups or anything else that could get in my way.
Pair the devices, open Chrome, I believe some of us even have them open already, visit the site, open Firebug, change code and preview it on your iPad or iPhone.
No matter if you hate Adobe and believe they use their labs to give cancer to puppies, try Shadow if you ware working on designs that are likely to be shown on various devices. I believe you will not regret it.