Dec 9, 2010

Browse Mobile websites from PC

There are times when you might want to emulate and browse WML/WAP enabled mobile sites from a desktop PC browser:

1) As a webmaster when you’d want to test how the mobile version of your website looks on a mobile xHTML browser without wasting money on GPRS data charges.

2) If you have a slow/limited internet connection on the PC and would like to speed up by loading webpages faster and save on bandwidth charges.

Wmlbrowser is a free addon for Mozilla Firefox 1.0/2.0 that allows you to browse WAP/WML mobile sites from your desktop computer. Once it is installed, you can choose to customize the toolbar and add the WML Mode button. Now whenever you want to visit a WAP/WML mobile website, simply toggle the button on the toolbar.

While Opera has native support for WML, I prefer this add-on for Firefox since some websites (like the mobile version of Tech[dot]Blog) do not have a dedicated subdomain/subdirectory to access the mobile version of the site(e.g.; they render the mobile site based on browser referrer/agent string. To force the host to display the mobile version of their website, you will need to use wmlbrowser.

Download wmlbrowser here.

Other web based WAP emulators that work on any browser including Internet Explorer include WAPTiger & Wapsilon & TagTag. A free desktop software called WinWap for Smartphones is also available here.

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