How Do I Choose the Best WAP Emulator?

D. Grey

In order to choose the best wireless application protocol (WAP) emulator, consider selecting software that can emulate multiple brands of mobile phone, has an easy to use interface that is compatible with the tools you use, and has the ability to browse the Web page being emulated as if you were using a phone. The purpose of a WAP emulator is to be able to test and develop a Web site for viewing on a mobile phone or WAP enabled device, and an emulator should adequately and accurately display the site to meet these needs. Choosing the best WAP emulator may depend on your personal preferences or hardware, resulting in selection of a WAP emulator that functions within a standard browser plug-in, as a standalone application, or as a Web site that offers a service to display WAP sites.

A WAP emulator allows websites to be developed and tested for display on a mobile device.
A WAP emulator allows websites to be developed and tested for display on a mobile device.

If you want to use a WAP simulator to test whether or not a WAP site will display correctly on a mobile phone, perhaps the most important thing to be aware of is that the emulator can display a wide variety of mobile phone devices or brands. The more mobile phones the WAP emulator supports, the better idea you will have of how the site looks across these units, and how to develop the site accordingly, fixing any display issues that you encounter along the way. A Web site intended for use with standard browsers can be WAP enabled, and a WAP emulator can also allow the user to confirm that the proper version of the site is being displayed to mobile phones.

There are several different options for using a WAP simulator, and choosing the best largely comes down to personal preference or to the number of features the software has. WAP emulators are available as standard browser plug-ins, and while a plug-in may not be as robust as standalone software, you may decide to use one for convenience or speed. If you are using your browser to view the site you want to test with a WAP emulator, being able to switch back and forth within the same application may be desirable.

Further methods in which a WAP emulator may be used include Web sites that offer the service or standalone emulators. Web sites that offer the ability to emulate WAP enabled devices and display the result within the page may be free to use or require a service fee. Finding a Web site service most suited to your needs may take longer, but could be a cheap alternative. Standalone WAP emulators should generally have more features than plug-in type emulators, namely, the number of mobile phone displays they can provide. When choosing, as the price of the software may be a factor, remember that this kind of simulator may be the more expensive of the options available.

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