Inspect Browser

I’ve been doing a lot of website testing lately as Vic and I work together on a podcast theme for Hugo. Part of website testing involves using the element inspectors and developer tools available in most (all?) desktop browsers. Sadly (I thought) I couldn’t do this in the same way on iPadOS, which I spend a huge percentage of my time working in.

I was wrong.

Inspect Browser is one of those third-party iOS apps that proves that while Apple may not care much about enabling people to get real work done on their “Pro” devices, the people out there doing the work do care.

The1 developer of Inspect Browser claims on the website that their app provides desktop-class web development tools and features, and they are not kidding.

JavaScript console, HTML and CSS element inspectors, device previews for responsive design work, network inspector – it’s all there.

Devices Panel

The Devices Panel even has the ability to drag the viewport edges to manually change device sizes, just like desktop browser developer tools.

Devices Panel manual sizing

Naturally you can rotate your device to see what your responsive layout looks like in landscape VS. portrait mode.

Devices Panel device rotation

The Elements Panel is everything you want in a developer tool. From JavaScript to CSS to HTML, you can see it all, select and view individual elements, change elements to view the effect, and tap sections of the page in the browser to inspect the associated elements as well. It’s really superb.

Elements Panel CSS view

I hate to say it, but it seems like Apple doesn’t actually care that much about pro work getting done on iPad Pros. Sure, they’re making the OS more capable, but they do not make developer tools or video editor tools or writing tools or photography tools worthy of the name pro for their very own very expensive Pro line of iPads. It’s consistently third-party developers who enable real work to be done on the iPad.

I have no idea if a $7 web development tool like this for iPadOS is a sustainable business in the App Store, but I sure hope so, because the functionality contained in Inspect Browser is indispensable to me.

  1. Look, I started a paragraph without the letter I! ↩︎