Several products in the new Adobe CS3 release, including Dreamweaver, come with the new Device Central service. It gives you a chance to see your content using a number of mobile device skins that work almost like the real thing. The available skins are constantly updated.
The results you see are supposed to be what you would actually see using the device. I don’t have any way to test how well that actually works and how accurate the claim is. Anybody out there know? I noticed some of the skins I looked over were rendering the content using Opera’s small screen browser.
I was a bit disappointed not to see devices like Blackberries and Palms with larger screens. I hope they will add these skins as time goes by.
To answer my own question from the title, I think Device Central will help people who use Dreamweaver as a strictly WYSIWYG tool. It will help such users realize the results of their “design view” decisions when they haven’t taken the underlying structure or semantics into account. So, yes, it’s a good thing and an improvement for a lot of people. On the other hand, people that already know about testing with Opera’s small screen view or mobile emulator, or people already using handheld CSS for mobiles, may not have much use for it.
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One thought on “Is Adobe’s Device Central the answer to coding for mobiles?”
I think it’s a good feature for one reason: it will show those developers who haven’t progressed beyond 1997 and creating web sites that kill people, er, killer web sites, that their long standing methods of creating sites don’t work on mobile devices.
As someone who has been using CSS for a good ten years, who has implemented handheld stylesheets on my own site, and who has the ability to test against Palm OS and Windows Mobile browsers (not simulations), I doubt I’ll use it myself.