22 January 2013, by Richard Meal
If you are testing a webpage you have developed for BlackBerry mobiles, then the BlackBerry website is a useful place to visit as it has simulators of all their devices available to download. Once installed, the simulators that are running OS6 or higher can be used to view your webpage in their browser straight away. To get the browser working on OS5 simulators or older, the BlackBerry Mobile Data Service simulator (MDS) needs to be installed and run, instructions for doing this on Windows 7 x64 can be found in this helpful blog post here (this is a link to the Google cache version as the site is down at the time of writing).
The most useful thing I have found is, since BlackBerry OS7, there is now a way to debug webpages, which is very useful as the BlackBerry browser has a lot of quirks, despite being Webkit based since OS6. The following can be done in either the simulator or on an actual device:
First of all you need to go to the Browser Options and ensure ‘Enable Developer Tools’ is selected. In the browser you then need to bring up the menu by pressing the BlackBerry button and select Developer Tools > Enable Web Inspector. A popup will then display an IP address and port number.
You can then connect to that IP address using a Webkit based browser on your PC (or a PC on the same network as the device if you aren’t using the simulator) and select the site that is being displayed by the BlackBerry.
Once you have selected the webpage you have access to the full debug tools that are available to Webkit browsers, which are very useful for figuring out why that <select> is appearing twice as large as it is on every other browser.