iWebInspector: Debugging on iOS devices

An amazing new product crossed my desk today. iWebInspector lets you open up a debugging session on an NS Basic/App Studio app that is running in the iOS iPhone or iPad Simulator.

It was developed by Max Firtman (who has come up with other innovations that we at NS Basic have used), based on a discovery by Nathan de Vries on how to enable the Remote Web Inspector on iOS 5.

Since the iOS Simulator only runs on Mac OS, this tool requires a Mac. You’ll also need to download Apple’s XCode, which includes the iOS 5 SDK and the Simulator. It’s a 1.6 gig download, but easy to install once it is there. You won’t have to learn XCode or even how to start the Simulator: iWebInspector will take care of that for you.

Here’s how iWebInspector looks when you start it: (this is Beta 0.9 – expect it to get better looking quickly):

If you click on Open iOS Simulator, the Simulator will start automatically. If it is purely a web app, open it in Safari then choose “Load from Safari”. If it has been saved to the Home Screen, start it and choose “Load from webapp”. PhoneGap apps can even be debugged: enter the App name and “Load”.

This tool will be especially useful for debugging apps which can only be tested on a device.

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