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For Joostrap to have become established and remain a leader in responsive web design, mobile first Joomla website templates and extensions, it is imperative that we utilise and promote the leading responsive design testing methods.  Of course, it's always best to use an actual device to do your testing, but with thousands of devices and screen sizes on the market, it's close to impossible to test on every device or screen size ... so as a responsive web developer, we try to use the best desktop tool for the job.  The method we use and recommend the Chrome Developer Tools Mobile Emulation Tool.

Much of this content is taken straight from the Google Devlopers site.
You can see the latest version here: https://developers.google.com/chrome-developer-tools/docs/mobile-emulation

The mobile web has evolved to enable increasingly sophisticated applications, which we often wish to debug during development on the desktop. Chrome DevTools includes support for a number of features that can help with this which we will walk through in this section.

Mobile emulation


The mobile web has evolved to enable increasingly sophisticated applications, which we often wish to debug during development on the desktop. The DevTools include support for a number of features that can help with this which we will walk through in this section.

Note: Some of our documentation may be ahead of the stable version of Chrome. If you are unable to locate a feature listed, we recommend trying Chrome Canary which contains the latest version of the DevTools.

Enabling the Emulation Panel

Chrome Canary has received a number of improved mobile emulation tools which can be accessed by enabling the Emulation panel through the Settings panel. To enable:

  1. Open the Settings panel within the DevTools.
  2. Enable "Show 'Emulation' view in console drawer."
Enabling emulation

Bring up the DevTools console drawer by hitting the Esc key and then select the Emulation panel.

Emulation panel

Note: Emulation tools within DevTools were previously contained within an Overrides pane inside the Settings panel. The Emulation panel is the new Overrides pane.

Emulating Devices

It's often easier to start prototyping on the desktop and then tackle the mobile-specific parts on the devices you intend to support. Device emulation can make this process more straightforward.

DevTools contains built in presets for a number of devices, this allows you to emulate and debug mobile viewport issues like CSS media query breakpoints. Selecting a device preset automatically enables a number of settings:

  • User agent - a string available at navigator.userAgent and also sent as a request header for page resources. See Useragent Spoofing.
  • Screen resolution - matches the actual dimensions (width and height) of the selected device. For example, selecting the Nexus S will emulate a resolution of 480x800.
  • Device Pixel Ratio - matches the DPR of the selected device. Allows emulation of a retina device from a non-retina machine. This also means media queries such as @media only screen and (min-device-pixel-ratio: 2) can be tested.
  • Emulate viewport - zooms the page out to the physical default viewport of that device. In the case of the Nexus 4 this is 768x1280.
  • Text autosizing - emulate font boosting which occurs on mobile devices.
    • Android font metrics - Android artificially increases the font metrics used by text autosizing based on the system settings and screen size. Enabled by default only when emulating an Android device.
  • Touch screen (part of the Sensors pane) - uses touch events, see Emulating Touch Events.
Viewport emulation

Emulate a device via a preset using the following steps:

  1. Open the Emulation panel within the DevTools
  2. With the Device pane selected, select "Google Nexus S".
  3. Click Emulate.
Viewport Overrides

You are now in device emulation mode. The Screen, User Agent, and Sensors panes reflect the device settings which are now enabled.

Viewport Overrides


    • The Swap dimensions button in between the Resolution values () will swap the width and height.
    • Shrink to fit ensures the emulated device screen is completely visible within your browser window. This setting does not emulate the device differently.
    • Device media queries (e.g @media only screen and (min-device-width:768px)) will be enabled according to the values defined in the Resolution settings.
    • You may want to undock DevTools or dock it to the right while working with emulated viewport settings.
    • Device settings can be configured independently of a device preset.
    • If you would like to contribute patches to support new device presets, please see our contribution docs.

Emulating Touch Events

Touch is an input method that's difficult to test on the desktop, since most desktops don't have touch input. Having to test on mobile can lengthen your development cycle, since every change you make needs to be pushed out to a server and then loaded on the device.

A solution to this problem is to simulate touch events on your development machine. For single-touches, the Chrome DevTools supports single touch event emulation to make it easier to debug mobile applications on the desktop.

To enable support for touch event emulation:

      1. Open the Emulation panel in the DevTools.
      2. Enable "Emulate touch screen" in the Sensors pane.
Emulating touch events in the Overrides panel

Your mouse actions will now also trigger the relevant touch events: touchstart, touchmove and touchend.


      • Feature detects such as Modernizr.touch will now succeed on page refresh.
      • This feature, like many other overrides, will only work while the DevTools are open.
      • The cursor will change to a small circle to emulate a fingertip size.
      • Use Shift + Drag to emulate a "pinch".
      • Enabling "Emulate touch screen" does not disable mouse events entirely, as they are fired on touch devices. Try this touch event listener test page, touch is another option we can debug with.
      • On click, the order of events fired is currently: touchstart > mousedown > touchmove > touchend > mouseup > click. On touch devices, this order is slightly different. The tools will shortly be updated with the right order.
Emulating pinch to zoom

Debugging touch events

      1. Open up the Canvas Fingerpaint Demo
      2. Navigate to the Sources panel
      3. Expand the "Event Listener Breakpoints" sub-panel
      4. Check the "touchstart" and "touchmove" events under "Touch"
      5. Move your cursor over the paint area
      6. The debugger should successfully pause on the draw() method
Debugging touch events
      You may also monitor touch events as they fire on an element in the console. Use
monitorEvents from the command line API


Multi-touch events can be simulated if you have a device with touch input, such as a modern Apple MacBook. For further assistance with multi-touch event simulation, see the "Developer tools" chapter of the Multi-touch web development guide on HTML5 Rocks.

Useragent Spoofing

Emulating The User Agent

      1. Navigate to the Google homepage.
      2. In the DevTools, open up the User Agent pane within the Emulation panel.
      3. Check "Spoof user agent" and select "Android 2.3 - Nexus S".
      4. Refresh the page.

An updated user-agent field is now sent as part of the request headers for page resources. Some websites may decide to serve optimized versions of the page depending on the user-agent, this is one case where spoofing a user-agent may be useful.

Before user agent and device metric emulation have been applied After user agent and device metric emulation are applied

Network Bandwidth Throttling

The DevTools does not currently support network throttling, however it's important to understand and test the impact of slower connections on your site.

On Mac, we recommend using the Network Link Conditioner that is available via Xcode. It has presets for network conditions like EDGE, 3G, DSL, WiFi, High Latency DNS, Very Bad Network, and 100% Loss. Changes made within Network Link Conditioner will affect all system network traffic, including Chrome or any running emulators and simulators.

Network Link Conditioner preference panel

On Windows, we recommend using Clumsy, which can add extra lag, drop packets, throttle and manipulate other network conditions.

Clumsy Options

On Linux, there are many options for traffic shaping; dummynet is the recommended option.

Geolocation Overrides

When working with HTML5 geolocation support in an application, it can be useful to debug the output received when using different values for longitude and latitude. The DevTools support both overriding position values for navigator.geolocation and simulating geolocation not being available via the Sensors pane.

Overriding geolocation positions

      1. Navigate to the Geolocation demo and allow the page access to your position.
      2. In the DevTools, open up the Sensors pane within the Emulation panel.
      3. Check "Emulate geolocation coordinates" and enter 41.4949819 in the Lat field and -0.1461206 in the Lon field.
      1. Refresh the page. The demo will now use your overridden position for geolocation.
      1. Check the "Emulate position unavailable" option.
      2. Refresh the page. The demo will now inform you that finding your location has failed.

Device Orientation Overrides

Many new mobile devices are now shipping with accelerometers, gyroscopes, compasses and other hardware designed to determine capture motion and orientation data. Many web browsers have access to that new hardware, such as via the HTML5 DeviceOrientation events. These events provide developers with information about the orientation, motion and acceleration of the device.

If your application is taking advantage of device orientation events, it can also be useful to override the values received by these events during debugging to avoid the need to test them on a physical mobile device.

Overriding orientation values

      1. Navigate to the Device Orientation demo and notice the standard HTML5 logo along with the current orientation values listed above it.
      2. Open the Emulation panel in the DevTools and click the Sensors pane.
      3. Check "Accelerometer".
      4. You will see three fields:
        • α: how much the device has been rotated around the z-axis.
        • β: how much the device is tilted left-to-right.
        • γ: how much it's tilted front-to-back.
      5. Change the values to the following:
        1. α - 0
        2. β - 60
        3. γ - 60
Enabling device orientation overrides

We have altered the left/right tilt and front/back tilt, in this case resulting in our application being emulated as rotating in a clockwise direction.

Device orientation allows us to emulate the directions a device may be turned

CSS Media Type Emulation

CSS media types allow you to apply different styles to a page depending on the medium it is being used through (e.g print, screen, tv, braille and so on).

Emulating media types

    1. Navigate to HTML5 Rocks.
    2. Open the Emulation panel in the DevTools.
    3. Enable "CSS media" on the "Screen" pane and select the "print" media type option from the drop-down box.
    4. The page will adjust to using a stylesheet for the chosen CSS media type if one is available.

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