Why Two

So I have been getting a lot of "What's the difference between Two and ____________?" the past few days. Instead of continuing to rehash the same response in 140 characters or less, I thought I would outline some of the features that are unique to the app.

We are going to look at the UI, feature set, and the open source project that Two is based on.

The UI

Two has a custom UI akin to the design of apps like Coda 2. This isn't a web browser, it is an app designed to test the responsiveness of a given design, so the focus is put squarely where it should be. I have worked pretty hard to create a UI that gets out of the way, and doesn't confuse.

A great deal of thought went into how and why to display data to the user. The width of each WebView is displayed in the status bar. Height matters very little, so we have chosen to eschew that for simplicity. The URL input is tucked behind a popup, since again this isn't your web browser.

Bottom line we didn't just take a web browser UI and slap on a second WebView. We looked at how the app would be used, and designed a UI that would complement it.

The Feature Set

At its core, Two and the other 2 (that I know of) apps on the MAS serve the same base function. To test your responsive design. How we achieve this goal are where each differs.

Two supports a bookmarklet to send sites to it, as well as implements its own protocol two://. One of the big differentiators Two has with the other apps is how you resize your mobile view. Two have multiple methods of determining the width, with the most effective being the breakpoint dropdown.

If I know I need to test at 768px wide I shouldn't have to click and drag a divider around until I get the dimensions just right. I should be able to tell the app "make the mobile view 768px wide" and it just does it. Of course you can still resize the mobile view freely by interacting with the divider.

In the version I am prepping for release now, I have made the pre-configured breakpoints manageable by the user, so you can add/edit/remove what shows up in the drop down. Additionally other ways have been added to set the width of the mobile view, for ease of use.

Again, a great deal of thought went into creating an app that allows you to do what you need to do, as quickly and efficiently as possible, and then get out. There are a number of other features I have implemented that make using Two best of class, but I would rather you discover those on your own.

TwoBrowser, our open source foundation

As I started working on Two, I decided very early on to release the core, code named TwoBrowser as an Apache Licensed project. I have a deep, long term commitment to open source development, specifically the ASF version of OSS, and it seemed like a great way to give back. You can find the project on my github page.

The core of Two will always be open, and available for anyone to look at, learn from, remix and reuse. For most people this won't be a huge deal I know, but for me it is.

At the end of the day, you have to make your own mind up about what app is right for you. The existing solutions I found didn't operate the way I wanted, look the way I wanted or exist the way I wanted. So I built my own that hits all three on the head.