“Shadow is for front-end Web designers and developers who are interested in building better mobile Web experiences,” said Bruce Bowman, senior product manager of Adobe’s digital media business. “It allows them to connect devices to their computer, and when they browse on their computer, it allows the devices to stay in sync and targets devices for remote inspection and debugging.”
Shadow lets users pinpoint errors, experiment with new ideas and layouts, and view the changes on their devices in real time. It works over a Wi-Fi network, where all devices are connected to the same network. It takes into account the rapid changes in the development landscape, with new devices, operating systems, browsers, and browser versions. Different browsers have varying levels of capabilities, and are enabling new technologies in advance of W3C rules, requiring constant checking to make sure that a design works everywhere, or at least degrades gracefully.
Joining the Adobe Labs web development apps such as Edge, Muse, and Wallaby, Shadow propels Adobe HTML5 initiative forward moving away from flash based mobile websites. This is consistent with the trend away from the company’s Flash platform for content creation on mobile devices.
Shadow's targeted inspection mode lets users do most of the tweaking on their desktop computer without having to interact with the devices. Adobe explains that whereas today, most developers are working via trial and error, with Shadow, they’re able to control revisions from one place.
Once installed, users can see layout changes and other development updates across devices immediately and simultaneously. Adobe has tested some 20 devices at the same time, and says that an unlimited number can be viewed.