A Comprehensive Guide to iPhone Simulator Online

14 Min Read

From identifying crucial issues in account creation forms or payment interfaces to navigation design issues, every professional iPhone tester prefers using an iPhone simulator online to test the functionality and usability of the iOS apps.

Alongside several advantages of using an iPhone simulator online, the primary perk of using an iPhone simulator online is you make testing more cost and time-efficient for testing iOS apps.

This blog post will guide you to what an iPhone simulator is, how it works, why we need these tools, how it differs from using real devices, and how you can use one in the real-time testing process.

Let us dive in.

What is an iPhone Simulator?

Simulators are often confused with emulators.

One primary difference between the two is emulators emulate the Software and Hardware features of the applications.

However, using an iOS simulator online, you can mimic the basic virtual appearance and experience of an iOS app using iOS simulators without having an iOS device with you.

The iOS simulators allow testing professionals to test their applications in a replicating environment. You can access iOS simulators online from a web browser, i.e., Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, etc.

How Does an iPhone Simulator Work?

Simulators do not consider or create an impact on hardware components like cameras, touch panels, CPUs, etc.

Hence, you may also experience a more delayed response while using an iPhone simulator.

Testing professionals can use a mouse to access a simulator rather than a touch panel with that they can interact. These device components generally follow small, natural, and unnatural gestures.

A simulator may provide an experience like iOS, but it takes more processing time.

Simulators use your computer memory and processor to mimic an actual iPhone device. The test environment built using a simulator provides testing professionals with the facility to engage in a fast and clear animation.

Simulators provide you with a set of tools to optimize the maximum metrics of personalized mobile app testing.

Why Do Testers Need an iPhone Simulator?

Using an iPhone simulator simplifies testing and makes it more cost-effective, time-efficient, and sophisticated.

Hence, there are several reasons why testers should consider choosing an iPhone simulator to test their iOS applications.

Here are the reasons.

  1. Like physical devices, you can test the basic functionalities of your applications using an iPhone simulator, which is less affordable and usable.
  2. The simulator provides the facility to test your UI layouts more interactively.
  3. Use automation to identify faulty deviations in debugging the application source code.
  4. You can enable compatible and responsive testing of your iOS applications.
  5. You can enhance your customers’ user experience by testing your iOS applications using an iPhone simulator.

Popular automation testing tools like LambdaTest provides interactive bug-tracking iPhone simulators that can be integrated with third-party testing resources. Testers can utilize extended capabilities using an iPhone simulator.

iPhone Simulator vs Real Devices

Simulators provide a Software-driven testing infrastructure to developers and testers.

Real devices, on the other hand, are considered a traditional yet commonly practiced testing strategy.

Using an iPhone simulator, you can launch integration tests for large mobile application builds. It engages in effective testing of functionalities within an iPhone app.

In many cases, testers use both a simulator and real device clouds to test the applications. This way, testers optimize their testing efforts most effectively.

How to Use an iPhone Simulator for Testing?

The Xcode environment wouldn’t be complete without the Xcode Simulator application. You might wonder how Xcode Simulator can assist with your app development while keeping definitions in mind.

A simulator, in a nutshell, allows you to simulate the user interface of a device for which you are creating an app. The Xcode Simulator, with its initial stable release in late 2003, enables you to create apps for the full iOS ecosystem, including iOS, macOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

You may closely mimic the experience of your end-level customers by using the iOS simulator to execute apps directly from your macOS kernel. Because of how convenient it is, nearly every app developer today regularly runs and tests their apps on a simulator.

Now let’s take a look at how to set up an iOS simulator. With this, you may test any iOS-compatible software or browser, such as the iPhone browser simulator for evaluating browser compatibility.

  1. A standalone simulator is not available from Apple on the App Store. Instead, search for and download Xcode, which is offered without charge on the store. An Integrated Development Environment is Xcode (IDE). You can develop applications for all Apple operating systems, including iOS, macOS, tvOS, and WatchOS. Apple is the creator of Xcode.
  2. Although you have technically downloaded the simulator, there are still a few steps to do. You can access the iOS simulator using these.
  3. You must first download Xcode before you can get the iOS simulator environment. Open Xcode and go to preferences to accomplish this. (Preferences in Xcode) Download the iOS version from this page’s “Components” section based on your needs.
  4. You must first download Xcode before you can get the iOS simulator environment. Open Xcode and go to preferences to accomplish this. (Preferences in Xcode) Download the iOS version from this page’s “Components” section based on your needs.
  5. Go to Xcode-> Open Developer Tools-> Simulator after acquiring the necessary iOS version. This will launch the testing-friendly iPhone simulator.
  6. By choosing Hardware-> iOS-> “Desired Device,” you can choose the device you want.
  7. Check for compatibility between the most recent and older macOS browsers using virtualized versions of macOS.

Most Popular iPhone Simulators

Today’s market is filled with dozens of different iOS simulators. While some of them may work well for testing iOS applications, there are others that don’t.

The following five iOS simulators have been ranked according to price, features, and usability.

As was already said, some of them also function as Android emulators, making them perfect for those who require simulations outside of iOS programming.

You shouldn’t let price be the only consideration in your choice unless you’re on a tight budget. A better experience can occasionally be had by spending a bit more, which may ultimately result in a higher-quality app.

Let’s get started with the top five.

1. Appetize

A web-based iOS simulator and Android emulator, Appetize.io was established in 2015. Over the past seven years, it has earned the trust of many organizations, including Shopify, Intuit, DoorDash, The Washington Post, Ulta Beauty, and others.

Appetize is fantastic because of how straightforward and adaptable it is. It can be used for training, development, testing, support, and other things.

It’s a web-based tool, so you don’t have to download anything to test your iOS app. Simply upload the app using the website, or for an improved workflow with your IDE, utilize the Appetize API.

2. iPadian

Comparatively, iPadian only simulates iOS, not emulates it, as do the other tools on this list. So you can skip this part and continue looking for a tool that accomplishes both goals. Having said that, iPadian is one of the most well-known iOS simulators available right now. Currently, over a million people are using it daily, and it has more than 10 million downloads.

The mobile app experience of a genuine device is simulated by iPadian. This lets you compare your iOS app to an Android app on a PC or Windows device and feel the differences between them.

iPadian has several restrictions because it was created exclusively for simulations. The tool is unable to access the Apple App Store and does not install a local copy of iOS on your device. iMessaging is not supported by iPadian either.

3. Smartface

An iOS and Android app emulator and simulator are called Smartface. These programs don’t require additional hardware or software downloads; they may be utilized directly in your browser. Unlike other iOS simulators and emulators, Smartface supports a wide range of operating systems, devices, and OS versions. Beyond Windows PCs, Smartface can also be used with Linux, ChromeOS, and macOS.

There’s a tiny catch, though. Even though this iOS simulator runs in your browser, you can’t just join up and use it immediately. It can be a hassle if you need to do anything quickly because Smartface asks you to request a demo first.

4. AIR iPhone

A free iOS simulator for Windows is called AIR iPhone. You must install Adobe Air on your computer in order to use this application because it runs utilizing the Adobe Air Framework. Without an iOS device, AIR iPhone aims to mimic the graphical user interface of an iPhone.

But this tool is obsolete and incredibly constrained compared to other options available. Compared to more current versions, such as iOS 14, the interface resembles iOS 3 more. Although you can view an iPhone and iOS application’s GUI with AIR iPhone, the apps won’t truly run as if they were installed on a native iOS device, making it unsuitable for debugging.

5. Remoted iOS Simulator for Windows PC

By using Remoted iOS Simulator for Windows, Visual Studio 2019 and Visual Studio 2017 can test apps on iOS simulators. Both versions of Visual Studio automatically install the utility together with Xamarin.

While a Mac is required to operate this Microsoft simulator, an iPhone or iOS device is not. To use the utility, you must use Visual Studio with a Mac Build host. A Windows device can then debug iOS and tvOS projects using the emulator.


A critical component in the software development process is testing iPhone applications. This is really easy if you’re using Xcode or Apple’s DevKit for iOS. App testing might be challenging, though, if you don’t have access to an iPhone, iPad, or computer running macOS.

Utilizing an emulator to test iOS apps eases your app development on Windows operating system.

The Apple iOS Simulator is a tool for creating and prototyping your mobile app and is included with Xcode.  Even while it can be used to test the essential functionality of your app, the iOS Simulator has many limitations as a testing environment. Real mobile devices must be used in order to test your app in real-world circumstances efficiently. iOS app simulators are programs that simulate the behavior of iOS applications. By using your web browser, Mac, or Windows PC in place of an iPhone or iPad, these technologies let you launch and use iOS apps.

Simulator and emulator are words that are frequently used interchangeably. But you cannot simply swap out these tools. Simulators design a setting that mimics the settings and actions of a genuine device. Emulators replicated the hardware and software features of the real device. While simulating a virtual environment’s fundamental behavior, simulators don’t truly adhere to all of its laws.

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