Next Big Thing: Browserstack

BrowserStack promises to make developers' life easier, by allowing them to test their websites inside their browser, without leaving it. On top of this, it also allows them to set up a tunnel (over SSH) to test your locally developed website in older browsers (such as IE6, if you really feel the need to make your web app compatible) right in your (modern) browser.

The service is simple and pleasing, and is very easy to use. You just type in the URL of your website to test, and the browser you want to try it in and you're away. I decided I wanted to see if our users were having a great experience in Internet Explorer 6. I clicked "get started" and the loading screen appeared (for 10 seconds!!), and was presented with our site in glorious IE6.

From here, you can use the all the debugging tools you'd need, and you can also quick update to another browser, just by selecting it from the left. You can also select the resolution you want the emulated browser to run in, so that you're covering that too. The service is nothing short of impressive. Browser options right now are:

Firefox 3, 4, 5 / Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, 9 / Safari 4, 5 / Opera 10, 11.5 / Chrome 12, 13

In addition to the already impressive feature set, it's also possible to test a website you're developing locally on the service. Hitting "setup tunnel" allows you to tunnel the service to your PC, gaining access to your website to test it. 

If you're a serious web developer, you need to check out this service now. It's simple, easy to use and... affordable. We wish it was free, but for what you get here, the prices are competitive starting at $19 USD / mth for unlimited use for one user. When you initially sign up, you also get 60 minutes of free time. The cost might seem like a lot, but the amount of time saved from having 1 browser installed instead of 10 is fantastic.

To sign up for the service, click here and type in your email address. Betalist also has some invitations to the private beta available.

Next Big Thing is a weekly series in which we take a look at startups that are full of potential. These are services we see as being the actual next big thing, and are giving you a sneak peak (and even a chance to try it) before anyone else! Contact us if you have a startup that you'd like featured!

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