Hey! Recently, a lot of fantastic apps are available on Apple store which aren’t available for PC. In order to run iOS apps on Windows or Mac, you can use an iOS Emulator. For example, the legendary Pokemon Go wasn’t made for Windows but for Android and iOS. Another reason for which people use iOS emulator on PC is to test their applications. Let’s suppose you’re building an app for iOS but you don’t have an Apple device. In this scenario, it is important for you to test your app thoroughly on a virtual iOS device which you can achieve using any of the 7 emulators for windows/mac mentioned below.
What is an iOS Emulator?
An Emulator in general is a piece of software or/and hardware which enables your system to behaves like some other device. The term is very much similar to Simulator, which means a machine with similar set of controls designed to give a realistic experience of a vehicle or an operation. Example for simulator can be Flight Simulator, Driving Simulator, etc.
An iOS Emulator is a software which gives you Apple’s iOS experience on your Windows PC or Mac. There already a lot of Android emulators present in the market, Bluestacks being most famous and widely used one. Using any of the following iOS Emulator will give you access to Apple’s operating system experience on your PC.
How to use iOS Emulator for PC ?
Follow the steps mentioned below and you’ll be able to use iOS emulator on your PC.
- Download your Favorite emulator from the list mentioned below
- Install the application
- Open the iOS app which you want to run on PC
- Use the provided emulator to run the iOS app.
Advantages of iOS Emulators in Windows
- Free of Cost
- Available for wide range of Operating systems (Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, etc)
- Perfect for casual use if you’re trying to understand how the environment works before buying an actual Apple device
- Suitable for developmental use to test the application which you’re developing
- A lot of available options from which you can choose
Top iOS Emulators for PC (Mac / Windows)
Follow the list below to download iOS emulator for your PC. The list is not particularly in ranked order, each and every emulator got some drawbacks and advantages. You can choose the one which satisfies all your requirements.
1. SmartFace: in-browser Emulator and Simulator
Smartface is one of the best iOS Emulators designed specifically for developers. You can use this to test your app in their in-browser emulator. Although one drawback is that it is not free. Their plan starts at $99 / month, although you can request a free demo from their team.
A lot of emulators on this list are mere simulators where they offer you the user experience of an iOS device but not the real software capabilities. On the contrary, Smartface is an emulator in true sense. You can checkout their page here.
2. iPadian : Popular iOS Emulator
As the name suggests, iPadian is an emulator designed to facilitate iPad like features in your PC. However, this is merely a simulator than an emulator. To elaborate, iPadian does not allow you to install any custom applications, it just acts like a ‘skin’ to your existing operating system. Therefore, if you’re trying to understand the interface of iOS then iPadian is a good emulator to try.
Fortunately, iPadian comes in Free as well as Paid plans. Their premium app is for $25.
You can install in via following the instructions:
- Go to https://www.ipadian.net/
- Download the software
- Install it in your PC
- Enjoy iPad like skin!
This software is made with utmost care and gives a great experience while using in a windows laptop.
3. XCode – Apple’s Official iOS emulator
Unlike other apps mentioned in our blog post, XCode is primarily made for development. Just like Google’s Android studios, XCode provides you with an interface to code, debug and test your application on iOS, tvOS, watchOS and iMessage. It allows you to simulate all the actions of a user in order to understand how your application reacts to it for exampl scroll, tap, device rotation, etc.
This is an iOS emulator for mac where it allows user to directly launch their app from the Xcode project. What sets this apart from other iOS simulator for windows is the ability to test web apps by accessing Safari within Xcode. Unfortunately, this is only for Mac and not windows.
How to download XCode on Mac:
- Go to Apple store on your macbook
- Search for XCode
- Alternatively, use this link
- Install it
4. MobiOne Studio : Run iOS games on PC
Our list would have been incomplete if we didn’t mention MobiOne studio. It is one of the best apple emulators for windows available in the market. This app has been discontinued by the developer but it is still available online for you to download.
MobiOne Studio is compatible with Windows and Mac OS. You can test your beta apps in the emulator and various cross-platform application. This emulator enables you to access notification bar of iOS too.
In my opinion, the app looks kinda outdated, as you can see in the screenshot but it is free to use and gets the work done!
How to download MobiOne studios for PC:
- Download Mobione from here
- Install like any other PC app
- Enjoy apple interface on your system
5. Appetize.io: Online iOS Emulator
A lot of applications mentioned in our list requires you to download the software in your PC. However, appetize.io offers an browser based iOS emulator, similar to SmartFace. One advantage of using appetize.io is that they offer a free plan too.
The developers can use Appetize.io for streaming iOS simulators in the browser for the purpose of embedding apps in websites, testing, or other phases of development. The free plan offers you 100 minutes of streaming service. Basically, you can run your app for 100 minutes for free.
To use appetize.io, simply go to their website and sign up for a free account. Now you can upload your app and see it in the browser.
6. iPad Simulator: Extension based Apple Emulator
Till now, we’ve mentioned apps which are browser based and local environment based. iPad simulator is a Google chrome extension which is rated as the best cloud ios simulator for windows. Due to some security issues, the application has been removed from Chrome webstore but can still be found online.
iPad simulator allows you to access features like Siri for free. It leans more on the iPad simulator side rather than iPhone simulator, also notice that here we mention ‘simulator’ and not ’emulator’. This iPad simulator features iMessage along with Siri. You can even drag & drop the iOS app from your windows computer to this iPad simulator, and it will be saved permanently in the Cloud storage.
Sadly, no link to download iPad simulator it is available right now, but when it was there on webstore, it was easily the most convenient iOS emulators for windows in the market.
7. Ripple: iOS emulator for developers (plugin)
Don’t be disheartened that iPad simulator is not available anymore. Ripple is a great alternative! It is also a Google Chrome plugin which acts as an iOS simulator. It can test cross-platform HTML5 and mobile applications. Features provided by Ripple are:
- HTML DOM Inspection
- Automated Testing
- JS Debugging
Ripple is a free iOS emulator, you can download it from here. It is exceptional small sized and handy to use. If you were looking for a simulator to experience Apple environment and not develop apps then Ripple is not for you. I’ll recommend that you try iPadian mentioned above.
This was our list of top 7 iOS emulators. I hope that these simulators and emulators were sufficient to satisfy your needs. If you’ve any questions then comment below and we’ll be happy to answer. With time, we’ll update the list and keep adding new emulators to the list to provide you even more comprehensive data. Meanwhile, share the article with your friends and tell us about your favorite iOS emulator for mac in the comments below.