Akamai Technologies has released an open source end-user testing agent designed to benchmark performance of mobile websites. Originally developed by the recently acquired Blaze Software, the new Mobitest tool measures page load times as well as individual request headers and timings on many popular mobile devices.
Mobitest captures screenshots during page load and shows a video visualizing the page load as it happened. This developer test option is available as a free hosted service online and as an open source test client to test real devices over a real mobile network.
Akamai says it has made the source code available through an open source license to run testing agents on iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices. Mobile developers can then measure applications on their own devices and within their internal networks, in addition to the free community service.
Akamai chief product architect Guy Podjarny suggests that the mobile web is growing quickly and so the importance of mobile web performance has equally become more important. "Challenges such as underpowered devices and high latency networks are further multiplied by a highly fragmented mobile landscape which changes at an incredible pace," he said.
Steve Souders, author of "High Performance Web Sites" and web performance expert has further commented that measuring mobile web performance on real devices gives the most accurate results, but it's a challenge to have multiple devices and to maintain consistent test conditions.