When developing apps using Windows, it’s crucial to be able to see your work as it’s being developed. Although developing iOS apps using windows is easier said than done, it’s not impossible. Using an iOS emulator for PC you can run the Apple software on a Windows device.
Wether it be for app development or just entertainment, running Apple’s operating systems makes life much easier if you can install one. All Windows PC owners with an iPhone know the struggle of syncing and restoring their iPhone using their PC. Data transfer is extremely taxing when done across two operating systems.
Once you have downloaded the iOS Emulator For PC you can enjoy using your favourite iPhone apps using on your PC.
What Is An iOS Emulator?
An emulator is a programme that pretends to be another programme which you can interact with in a similar way as the intended programme. Typically, an emulator is used for devices that are popular but not available to use because they are old.
In this case, we have an iOS emulator for PC. The iPhone emulator for windows is the same as the programme referred to above. So, you can install the emulator on a Windows PC. It then creates an iOS environment within Windows – which you can then run iOS apps in.
The emulators utilise virtualisation technology which are used to crease virtual machines. For the person using the emulator it can be very easy to sync your iPhone to windows and play your favourite games which are exclusive to Apple.
Why Have An iOS Emulator?
Originally, emulators were built for game/app designers who intended for their creations to be used on multiple operating systems. It’s a way to test the functionality on a operating system different to the one on your PC.
The emulators can a multitude of operating systems. Such as, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows. Windows emulators are popular for Mac users because .exe files cannot be opened on a Mac. Although, our favourite emulator is the JSNES: which is capable of running NES games such as Super Mario Bros.
iPhone for Windows emulators are usually free so there is no disadvantage to installing one. They are also easy to use for the average person who is not a developer.
Difference Between iOS Simulator & iOS Emulator
‘Emulator’ and ‘Simulator’ often get confused and are thought to mean the same thing. Despite sounding similar, these two are very different (especially from a developers point). Emulators are much more complex programmes, which copy the hardware environment such as an iPhone or iPad.
Whereas a simulator will only copy the software environment. So only parts of the iOS will be able to be used. Simulators are not intended to be used for developers because of their lack of function. Although you can still carry out analysis and research using a simulator.
In summary, emulators use hardware and software for their interface. This provides the user with a much more realistic and accurate representation of the intended device. Simulators are software based and are not as complex.
Best iOS Emulator For PC
1. Xamarin Testflight
Xamarin Testflight is one of the best iOS emulators for Windows. However, Xamarin is a paid emulator which may deter less serious developers. In terms of support, the team at Xamarin are second to none, with support documents available to use too. Using their emulator you can deliver native Android, Windows and iOS apps using existing code. Over 15,000 companies use Xamarin for their code development.
Arguably the best iPad emulator for Windows, iPadian takes the best features from the other emulators and compile them all into one. The emulator is in the style of an iPad and is great for iOS app development on a Windows PC.
It is rare for an emulator to feature Siri, but iPadian does. TvOS, iMessages and Watch OS are also available on iPadian.
First, download the installable file onto your Windows device. You can then run iPadian by clicking on it’s icon, then download the app you are using from the store. From there you can run the iOS app/game.
Smartface is commonly used as an iOS emulator for PC and has great iPhone features. For developers, you can build native cross-platform iOS apps with ease. In terms of functionality, it is convenient to test iOS apps using Smartface.
There is a paid version of Smartface and a free version too. The paid version starts at $99 and comes with more features.
You can also deploy and distribute your app from the Smartface dashboard. Some of the biggest companies in the world use Smartface for their apps, such As Coca-Cola.
Unlike the other emulators, Appetize.io is a cloud based emulator which cannot be downloaded to your PC. Although, it is one of the best emulators on the market. It seems like Appetize.io is the follow on from App.io.
It is free for the first 100 minutes per month. After you use more than 100 minutes you will be charge $0.05 every minute you use the emulator. This is a reasonable price considering the quality of the emulator. Apps cannot be downloaded to the emulator but you can run .ipa files on it. So testing your own apps/games is an option.
How to use Appetize.io you ask, well it’s quite simple. You first upload the .ipa file and enter your email address. You will then receive an email from them with the link to your emulator. From there you can test your .ipa file using their online emulator.
5. Air iPhone Emulator
Air iPhone Emulator can be used to accurately recreate iOS environments on PC. The programme is created using the Adobe Air Framework and simulates the iOS GUI on the Windows computer. Before releasing an app, most developers upload their app to this emulator to see how it will look when deployed. This emulator was originally created for Windows users to be able to use Ribbit, which was a telecommunications system which allowed iOS devices to call telephone networks. Although Ribbit was bought our in 2008 by BT and their service is no longer functional.
But of course the programme can still be used as an emulator.
6. iPhone Simulator
This emulator works using flash and is considered the easiest iOS Emulator For PC on the market. It’s interface is very simplistic and for non-developers it’s probably your best option.
For most people an emulator is the bet option of cross-device testing. Despite some emulators being not so cheap, it is only a fraction of the price that it costs to buy multiple devices and keep them maintained enough to do app testing on.
By using these emulators, you can access a virtual Apple device on your Windows PC instantly and carry out crucial app testing which can make or break an app deployment. For developers, the importance of emulators is high. But for people using the emulator for entertainment via games or apps we suggest that you use a cheap emulator or one with less functions to bring the price down.
Also check out the upcoming Galaxy S9 and S9+.