When you are building Web apps — and especially when you are debugging them — all the subtle differences between the different browsers start coming into play. Testing on every single browser is a hassle and there are no good tools available that help you easily automate these tests, partly because the different browsers’ developer tools can’t talk to each other. Mozilla, however, has now built an adapter that allows it to connect the Firefox developer tools with Chrome and iOS to help developers test their web apps there right from Firefox.
For the time being, this new tool is only available in Firefox’s Nightly builds with the Firefox Developer Tools Add-on installed. It also only works with the latest beta of Chrome (37) and Safari on iOS (but not the desktop).
All of these limitations clearly show that this is still a very experimental preview release, but it’s something the Firefox team has been working on for a while. Mozilla says it expects that it’ll be a few more months before the tool is ready for a wider release.
“Nothing can replace on-device testing. But developer tools on devices have been cumbersome and vendor-specific,” the Firefox team writes today. “Cross-platform development involved learning and switching between all the different browsers developer tools.”
The team originally built this feature to connect Firefox, Firefox on Android and Firefox OS. The tools include an inspector, debugger and console.