Monday, April 21st, 2008

iPhone Remote Debugger

Category: iPhone, Mobile, Utility

Jon Brisbin is a Java programmer doing iPhone development, and decided to scratch his own itch for a better iPhone remote debugger, creating iPhoneDebug:

The iPhone Debug Consle is meant to give greater visibility and interactivity on your iPhone/iPod Touch while doing development. I grew frustrated having to go through the “include console.log statement then reload” method of debugging. I wanted something similar to Firebug’s fantastic console and debugger.

I grew frustrated with trying to debug my iPhone/iPod Touch apps because I had no interactivity with the page. I couldn’t interrogate variable values or CSS values unless I put in a console.log statement and reloaded the page. This is far from ideal.

In trying to find something that would fit my needs, I came across Joe Hewitt’s iPhone/Firebug integration, but I wanted something more robust and that worked without firebug and requiring “console.log” in the desktop browser.

I’m a Java programmer, so naturally I thought of using COMET and Jetty to pass messages between a desktop browser and the iPhone. A couple days later, I had a workable solution. It lets you log things in your mobile JavaScript to a desktop console, but the biggest plus for my situation is that I can send JavaScript to the iPhone to be executed there, with the results logged back to my desktop console. Just like in Firebug, I can call methods, retrieve CSS values, and all manner of debugging activities I’ve grown used to doing while building apps with Firebug. There is also rudimentary UP and DOWN arrow command retrieval on the prompt.

Here it is in action, getting commands from the console:

iPhone Debug

Posted by Dion Almaer at 9:26 am

3.8 rating from 18 votes


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I would like to add that Aptana Studio and its iPhone plugin includes remote logging capability using Firebug as well. You can also send commands from Studio to your iPhone. There’s a screencast of this capability at

Aptana Studio and the IPhone plugin are free and open source.

Comment by pcolton — April 23, 2008

Now that is really useful………

Comment by Aphrodisiac — July 31, 2008

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