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Revisiting Device Testing: Prepros 5 Beta

Developer Shaun revisits device testing using Prepros 5 beta. Read about this tool's usability, and nifty functions such as multi-device testing.

iconNot long ago, I talked about stream-lining front-end development by using Prepros, a nifty tool with all sorts of features that makes developing responsive sites easy.

Now a couple of months down the line, I'd like to revisit Prepros and multi-device testing, as the program's developer has let us beta test Prepros 5, a complete re-write from the ground up.

4.2.0

Prepros runs an internal server which could be accessed locally or via the local network by simply visiting a specific port (e.g. 192.168.1.2:5656), allowing the projects being worked on to be viewed on multiple browsers, devices and environments with relative ease.

On top of that, Prepros uses an auto browser refresh which reloads all devices connected to the project once a file is changed (CSS altered, HTML added etc): this made seeing your changes across multiple devices and browsers pretty easy, and saved us a lot of time when testing.

5 beta

One of the most noticable (and my favourite) changes with Prepros 5 is that it builds on it's original refresh component by adding browser sync - which syncs all sorts of things like page scrolling, navigation, text input and more, allowing you to test and see the effects of every part of your project without having to fiddle around with each device, as demonstrated below with some of our devices:

Further to that, browser refresh itself has been stream-lined with front-end changes (such as CSS) updated and animated without a refresh: Increase the height on that div by 100px and it'll smoothly grow on all connected browsers without actually refreshing the screen.

So now at a glance you can see how a page looks on multiple devices, browsers and widths, and easily test how minor changes to the CSS will affect your front-end all without taking your hand off your mouse!

Prepros 5 is currently in a selective beta but is expected to come out pretty soon. When it does, you should definitely consider adopting it if you do any sort of front-end development: You won't regret it.

If you haven't used Prepros before, go download the free version (although this excludes remote device testing) and give it a spin!