Imagine being able to test your new website or application on about any device you can imagine – for free. Clintonville coworking space, The Salt Mines, houses one of the few free device labs across the U.S.
“If you’re testing a website or a native app, there’s a lot of stuff you can do on your computer to test for how it will look on a phone or tablet, but nothing is really going to replace having a physical device in your hand,” says Salt Mines Founder, Andy Soell.
The Salt Mines provides an extensive list of devices and tablets that developers or businesses can test their apps on, including:
- – Amazon Kindle Fire
- – Amazon Kindle Touch Wi-Fi
- – Apple iPad (1st Generation)
- – Apple iPhone 3GS
- – Apple iPhone 4
- – Apple iPhone 4S
- – Apple TV (3rd Generation)
- – BlackBerry Curve 8320
- – BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha B
- – BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha C
- – BlackBerry Playbook
- – BlackBerry Z10
- – Galaxy Nexus
- – HTC myTouch 4G
- – HTC Sensation 4G
- – Leap Motion
- – Nintendo DS Lite
- – Nokia Lumina 520
- – Nokia Lumina 800
- – OUYA
- – Raspberry Pi Model B
- – Samsung Galaxy S
“We make this freely available for anybody, not just for our coworking members,” Soell says. Anyone interested in using the Device Lab just needs to register on the website to reserve the devices.
There are two ways that testers can utilize the devices. Users can plug specific devices into their computers and start testing, or test responsive website development with Adobe Edge Inspect.
“It mirrors what you are looking at on your desktop browsers onto iOS and Android phones,” Soell says.
The Device Lab can help, “people who want to test their stuff out on everything,” to the developer that knows that their website or application is running improperly on a specific platform. The types of users that take advantage of the lab also varies from individual developers to small web shops.
Now, instead of having to borrow an iOS device from one person, and an Android from another, everything is easily accessible in one spot.
“Having a dedicated space like this makes a lot more sense,” Soell says.
He developed the idea along with the original Salt Mines space. At its inception, he says it was the ninth device lab in the U.S. The concept has been popular in Europe, but Soell thought the space would be useful here, describing Columbus as a tech-savvy city.
While the Device Lab boasts an impressive list of test operating systems, Soell wants to expand the Salt Mine’s offerings, which they approaching in two ways – through donations and an Indiegogo campaign.
All the devices in the current lab have been donated. “We do rely 100 percent on donations,” he says. “We gladly take donations here, it helps everybody.” They are also willing to take loaners.
However to ensure they can offer a more robust list of devices, The Salt Mines started a Indiegogo campaign.
“We’re trying to raise $1,500 to fill in some of the missing gaps,” Soell says.
The Salt Mines will use the raised funds to add the following devices to the lab:
- – Apple iPad 3
- – Samsung Galaxy 4S
- – HTC One
- – Google Nexus 4
- – Google Nexus 7