Whenever I mention the communal Brighton device lab on Twitter, or post pictures of the devices, I always get questions about it. So here’s a quick rundown of how things are set up.
Most of the devices are plugged in to two 10-port powered USB hubs made by Trust.
I tend to clump the devices by operating system: a bunch of Android devices here, a bunch of Windows Phones there. That might just be my mild OCD; there isn’t really any particular advantage to doing that.
I’ve also rearranged the home screens to be consistent. All the Android devices have these icons, in this order:
- Opera Mobile
- Opera Mini
- Adobe Shadow
Adobe Shadow is a very handy way of avoiding manual refreshes on Android and iOS devices. It has a lot of moving parts, but it’s worth setting it up. As well as installing the Adobe Shadow app on each device, you’ll need to download and run the desktop app on the computer you’re “driving” with and you’ll need to install a Google Chrome plug-in. It’s worth taking the time to do it though: you’d spent a lot more time manually refreshing each and every device.
More often than not, you’ll want to test websites before they launch so you’ll need some way of looking at locally-hosted sites. Localtunnel and showoff.io are just two ways of doing that—I’m sure there are many more. Personally, I use showoff.io for $5 a month and it works well for me.
Finally, there’s the question I get asked more than any other…
— Josh Crowder (@JoshCrowder) August 10, 2012
@adactio ooo I like those stands where are they from? Thats exactly what we need @seriousfoxhq
— Vincent Pickering (@VIPickering) August 10, 2012
@adactio What are the fancy stands all the devices are sitting on?
— Khoa Nguyen (@khoaski) August 10, 2012
@adactio, where did you get those stands? @stubbornella
The stands are from The Iron Mill just outside Ballymena in County Antrim. The iPhone stands are nice and sturdy, they work for other models just fine, and delivery is free within the UK and Northern Ireland.
And now, here’s Remy conducting mad experiments with JSbin at the device lab: