On the Internet, you can find a lot of utilities that promise to almost install iOS on Android and Windows, but these are just useless and virus-infected dummies.

Since Apple’s mobile operating system is closed source, there are no full-fledged emulators. Attempts to create such software ended in litigation with the company and inevitably failed. In fact, all programs that pass off as emulators are in fact simulators.

How the simulator differs from the emulator

Both terms are consonant and many consider them synonymous, but this is far from the case.

Emulation involves the recreation of an identical copy of the equipment and all its properties. In this case, the program code is executed in the “native” environment, which is built on the same components as the original.

A simulation is just an imitation of the original software’s interface and behavior. The simulator does not fully implement the functions of applications and otherwise. Outwardly, they may look like a complete copy, but we are not talking about executing the original program code.

Is it possible to play the simulator

You cannot open a game or any other application from the App Store on a computer. Even in the official Apple simulator, you can only run programs created by yourself – someone else’s projects for which there are no sources will not work.

Therefore, do not expect to play some loud exclusive with iOS, which is not available on Android.

Why, then, are simulators needed?

Only iOS app developers can really benefit from such software. Simulators allow you to test your programs even if you don’t have a real iPhone or other Apple gadgets at hand.

Ordinary users using iOS simulators can only satisfy curiosity and take a closer look at the interface of Apple’s operating system.

1. Xcode Simulator

• Platform: macOS.

• Price: free.

The best solution for testing iOS applications, second only to running software on real devices. The Simulator is part of Xcode, a proprietary development environment for Apple platforms, and simulates the operation of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS as closely as possible.

The simulator runs directly from the Xcode project. At the same time, even here, a version specially compiled for the x86 architecture is created for working on a Mac. You can test both projects in Objective C or Swift, and web applications – the Simulator fully reproduces the appearance and behavior of iOS on the selected device.

2. Xamarin iOS Simulator

• Platform: Windows.

• Price: free.

The Xamarin Cross-Platform Development Toolkit is included with Microsoft Visual Studio and is the only way to get a full iOS simulator on Windows. True, to use it, you need to connect to a remote Mac on which virtually everything is up and running. But the simulation capabilities are the same as in Xcode.

Xamarin’s built-in iOS simulator lets you test apps without using an iPhone. It has touchscreen support, screenshots and many other useful options. The main advantage of Xamarin is the ability to develop in a universal format and then deploy on both iOS and Android without having to rewrite everything from scratch.

3. Appetize

• Platform: web.

• Price: Free 100 minutes per month or premium from $ 40 per month.

Unlike the previous two simulators, Appetize is an online solution and functions in any browser, including mobile ones. The service provides access to the iOS desktop, and also allows you to launch your own applications after downloading the sources.

Appetize simulates all iOS devices from iPhone 4S to iPhone 11 Pro Max. In addition, there is a choice between different versions of the operating system, as well as debug log and network logging.