Klick_Ass is playing on words: a combination of the Ace of Spades playing card with a mouse pointer

Home of the "19 inch talk" & building stuff

We are here to help you to establish Open Device Labs

Want help? Want to help? Help others, to help others? You are just awesome. (Oh by the way, we need a logo!)

Some of us have been encouraging this with some of the earliest labs. And as Jordan Moore put it with his comment in this blog, it is truly heart-warming to see the Open Device Lab movement growing globally these days.

Open Device Labs (ODLs, #ODL) are a grass roots community movement, to establish physical locations for web and app developers to go to use a shared community pool of mobile devices. Developers are starting to donate their devices to the shared pool, and word is spreading through the community locally, and globally.

This enables more developers to access a broad variety of devices, to test whatever they’re working on for consumption on mobile screens – which is badly needed. To emphasize again on that: No, your iPhone is not sufficient for this test. And it doesn’t help a lot to bring your wifes Kindle Fire and your kids HTC into the game as well.

To give a hint: Facebooks mobile web offerings are accessed by 7.000 (seven thousand) different mobile devices (makes/models), each day. So test on real devices. Don’t let your users do your work (this would be called “Bananaware”). And if you don’t want to shop 7.000 devices, Open Device Labs are here for you!

Establishing an Open Device Lab is an awesome idea, but it takes guts. You need to find a safe location for the lab. You’ll need a Wifi capable of connecting some 30, 50 or even more devices (again, no, your Airport Extreme does not cover that (well)). You’ll need devices – a lot of them, both elder as well as brand new models, in variants, to cover all the OS fragmentation goodness. You’ll need accessories, like battery replacements, stands, or SIMs with a data plan for elder devices. You might need software as well. And you want to share best practices, and promote your lab, so people find you and help grow the lab. All that kind of stuff, in your free time, provided as a free service to the community… YOU ARE ALREADY A HERO!

To ease the pain and help people around the world to establish Open Device Labs around the globe, together with my mates I just founded lab-up.org. We want to help. We’re here to help. Go to lab-up.org and contact us. Follow LabUpOrg on Twitter. Sponsor ODLs around the world. Donate. Spread the word. Contribute to the program itself. Help the web and fragmented mobile experience to become a better place.

Thank you!

Avoid the Tamagotchis – a list of Open Device Labs

IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS POST AND THE SUBSEQUENT LIST IS OUT OF DATE WITH JANUARY 21, 2013. Please read this newer post on the evolution of this directory or go directly to the succeeding OpenDeviceLab.com to look up a matching Open Device Lab in your area.

Do you remember Tamagotchis? They want your love, all day. Just like all these mobile devices, asking for power, updates and attention.

Whether you take care for the web, develop multiplatform apps or hack other stuff for different mobile platforms, you quickly realize there is more devices to take care of than your personal ones (insert own tablet and smartphone brand/model here).

Of course you need to test your stuff on much more than two or three real devices, we’re not going to discuss this here.

I completely realize that not everybody is as stupid as me, owning and nurturing a growing list of currently 29 30 32 34 internet connected mobile devices. I use to refer to the necessary care with the term “looking after my Tamagotchis”. You remember Tamagotchis? You must be as old as me, haha!

If you want to avoid the Tamagotchi-thing, there is a growing list of truly awesome people who have planted the seed for so called “Open Device Labs” around the globe (basically this is just another european invention, but I strongly assume other countries will follow – Update Sep 4, 2012: I just added the first US based lab to the list – Update Sep 11, 2012: Mobile Portland claims to have announced the first US one, but is not functional yet. Go guys!).

So if you want to test on a broad range of devices, check out a device lab near to you – and don’t forget to contribute!

ACHTUNG: DIESES VERZEICHNIS WIRD SEIT DEM 21. JANUAR 2013 NICHT MEHR AKTUALISIERT UND IST DEMNACH INAKTUELL. Bitte lese diesen Artikel über die Weiterentwicklung dieser Liste oder gehe direkt auf OpenDeviceLab.com um ein Open Device Lab in Deiner Nähe zu lokalisieren.


IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS POST AND THE SUBSEQUENT LIST IS OUT OF DATE WITH JANUARY 21, 2013. Please read this newer post on the evolution of this directory or go directly to the succeeding OpenDeviceLab.com to look up a matching Open Device Lab in your area.

North America




IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS POST AND THE SUBSEQUENT LIST IS OUT OF DATE WITH JANUARY 21, 2013. Please read this newer post on the evolution of this directory or go directly to the succeeding OpenDeviceLab.com to look up a matching Open Device Lab in your area.

There is no Open Device Lab in your city? Establish one! LabUp! is here to help! Read more on the project.

There is now a list of people running Open Device Labs on Twitter: check out and subscribe here.

Do you know about an Open Device Lab that is not listed here?
Add a comment so I can update the list. Thanks!

Need: Multidevice Stand for Mobile Web Development

Back in March 2012 I sat down with the Adobe Shadow Adobe Edge Inspect development team on a nice monday evening in Adobes HQ in San Jose, California. Actually we launched Shadow Labs Release 1 together that night, the very first public release of a tool that soon should make a big impact to Web Devs around the globe.

I cannot hide this to be one of the most exciting software releases I ever have been part of, despite the fact this has been my first release under the flag of big buddy Adobe (you don’t get many chances like that). Besides from releasing what we tagged as #MobileRelief on social media, I felt a big relief in finally seeing the tool going live. I mean I had to constantly pull back myself from telling everybody about it, since I gained insight into the first rough drafts some painfully long months before…

However, after the initial Adobe TV demo video by Bruce Bowman climbed up to some tenthousand views in a matter of hours, whilst sitting in a Shadow presentation to Adobe folks the next day something dawned to me:

How in hell will I be permanently managing that illustruous farm of devices on my tiny desk?

A minute or two later the following idea was born, and I tweeted it just to see if there were any people sharing my feeling:

Five months after that day we’re using Shadow Labs Release 4 with numerous improvements (and the product isn’t even 1.0) and thousands of Web Pros around the globe foster a messy setting of numerous devices, cables and whatnot on their desktops – just like me.

This is to ask utility makers of the world to provide us with a solution to that problem. I am posting my original drawing (sorry for the shitty quality) again via this article, in case the one out of my tweet on yfrog gets lost:

Quick drawing of my idea from March 2012. See article for explanations on the main parts of the device.

Here is what I request:

  • Solid Stand with heavy base to carry a large number of Smartphones and Tablets
  • Modular structure, possible to easily adjust and combine to a tailormade fashion ideally suiting a specific project (!= permanent installation, == different set of devices for each project)
  • Rotatable suction cups to snag on devices, allowing to rotate from landscape to portrait (snap to these positions)
  • Clamp to securely lock base on table
  • Convenient solution to safely, inobstructively and hiddenly wire all devices with USB/charging cables
  • Powerful USB 3.0/2.0 (charging) Hub included into device (base?)
  • Extensible system, so additional arms/suction cups/base pillars can be added if needed

Mobile web testing and debugging became highly relevant to every webworker on our planet. I would estimate at least half a million potential customers for the proposed solution out there. I am filing this post in the category “Awesomness” since I clearly expect a manufacturer to come up with an awesome solution right away. Go guys, ship it. And let me know where I can get one.