Have you ever yearned for trying out iPhone apps? Are you running short of money to buy an iPhone? Then putting your hands on the iPhone emulators is the ultimate choice you are left with. Now you might be wondering what an emulator is, right? Today in this post, we will discuss the best iOS emulators and simulators for Windows system. But before coming to that let us discuss what exactly an emulator is.
An emulator for iOS is a kind of electronic program that enables one computer to act like a different system called the ‘guest’ and can run the software and apps of the guest system in it. Emulators are specifically designed for developers for testing apps and other programs. In other words, they are the virtual machines that support the operation of applications that belong to a different operating system and run them seamlessly. Emulators can run applications from a specific OS or multiple OS also like iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, etc.
What is iOS emulator?
It enables the Windows system to run any iPhone/ iPad apps and games in it. You can run them from your Windows computer or laptop and access them flawlessly as you run them on your Apple devices. With emulators and simulators, you can test run your apps while developing them and debug them.
Use of iOS simulator
Besides accessing the iOS apps and games, an iOS emulator benefits you from a number of features:
- Test builds iOS apps during the development process
- Run in multiple devices containing the same operating system
- Find the major issues in your app during early testing and design
- Test your app with developer tools which are available only for simulator
- Learn more about the Xcode development experience and iOS development environment before becoming a member of iOS Developer Program
Advantages of using an emulator
An emulator provides you several advantages that a developer needs.
- Besides the several benefits of using an emulator, there are a number of advantages it bears.
- Emulators are free to use and provided with the SDK with the release of every new operating system.
- Easy installation; requires no high-tech processor systems.
- Faster programming and simple to use.
Differences between Emulator and Simulator
Although both of them sound the same, still there is a variation between them.
An emulator works as a replacement for the original device. It can run the same software and applications of the original device without modifying them and it can’t even point out the difference in the duplicate system. Emulators are basically used by non-iOS users who want to experience the iPhone/ iPad interface without having the original device.
On the other hand, a simulator can set up the similar environment as the original device’s OS but doesn’t endeavor to replicate its hardware. Due to this reason, some applications might not work in simulators or may run differently. A simulator often runs the code faster and smoother and it launches instantly within seconds.
Compared to the specifications, an emulator is mostly preferred by users and developers to test drive apps due to its user-friendly features and flexibility.
Best iOS emulator for Windows
Smartface is an iPhone app emulator and tester that helps develop cross-platform native iOS apps. It is a full-featured enterprise mobility management platform that reduces cost, increases productivity, removes dependency and provides strategic mobility solutions. Smartface provides full debugging options for iOS apps which help the app developer flexibility to work with it and develop apps. The main features of Smartface are:
- Plugins support to extend Smartface apps
- WYSIWYG Design editor
- Testing apps and debugging
- Enterprise plugins and services
Air iPhone is an alternate iOS simulator Windows which replicates the iPhone’s Graphical User Interface. To run Air iPhone you’ll need the AIR framework for the application to the program. Although Air iPhone is not a fully functional application, you will find a difference in running apps in it and the real device. It completely reproduces the iPhone but developers might find trouble in testing their apps on it. Reviews do not state too many advantages about the app but still people who want to experience the iPhone can use it smoothly.
(3) MobiOne Studio
MobiOne Studio is an iPhone simulator for Windows cum emulator for iOS which works for developing cross-platform mobile apps for iOS and Android systems. Its apps are built on HTML 5 hybrid native app model by means of Cordova/ PhoneGap open source framework. MobiOne can easily build native iOS apps and can be used anywhere and any compatible device. With MobiOne you can build status notifications on the desktop, share app and web app links via email, configure your app to run on iPhone and iPad, app branding with custom icons, view status of your app with the AppCenter Progress view and automatically download the app installation file on your computer on completion of a project. MobiOne Studio can be downloaded and installed easily for free on Windows PC.
(4) iPad Simulator
It is a Google Chrome extension that works as a cloud OS and a simulator in Chrome browser. This extension provides you an iPad interface on your PC and you can use the iMessage app to send messages to your friend using an iPad. On replying, you’ll get notifications within the extension which is one of the best features it carries. If you have a problem buying an iPad due to its high cost then this is the ultimate option. The key features of this Chrome extension are:
- Get Siri without an iPad
- Access everything on the cloud
- Organize your cloud desktop with your preferred iPad apps
- Launch and connect the simulator with web service with a single click
- Create unlimited pages of apps
- Simple and elegant iPad interface
- Drag and drop apps
- Multi-tasking in iPad simulator
- Easily find apps with the search and browse page
- Use screensavers
- HD animated background
(5) iPhone Simulator
It is one of the best emulators for iOS that lets you access to iPhone apps and games on your Windows PC. With Simulator, you can test drive underdeveloped apps to find out the major issues in it. Since purchasing the iPhone leads to a major financial decision you can use this app as a virtual iPhone for your desktop. It contains high-quality graphics and interface which exactly an iPhone clone. The major disadvantage of this simulator is you cannot get access to the Apple App Store and few of the apps cannot be accessed by default. It is a free program which can be easily installed on your computer.
Therefore, what we can see is iOS emulators works the best when you want to experience an iPhone/ iPad/ iPod and its native apps on your PC. An emulator supports all versions of iOS, iPhone and iPad, including iOS 4, iOS 5, iOS 6, iOS 7, iOS 8, iOS 9, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini and iPad Air. This stands as one of the greatest advantages of using an emulator and simulator.
Emulators come free of cost and support all versions of Windows Vista and later. So if you are having issues with purchasing an iPhone or iPad but still you want to put your hands on iOS apps then emulators are the best alternative for your requirements.
emulators for iOS