How to run your app in Apple’s iOS Simulator

Short of running on an actual device, Apple’s iOS Simulator is the best way to test your apps. It can be configured to act as a iPhone, iPhone 5, iPad, retina and non retina, landscape or portrait. It’s like having a whole closet full of devices.

Here’s how to set it up and get it running on your Mac, without having to start XCode.

  1. Download XCode. The easiest way to do this is using the built in App Store app. It’s big: more than 1.65 gigs.
  2. Go into your Applications folder and right click on Xcode.app. Choose “Show Package Contents”.
  3. Navigate to Contents/Applications
  4. Right click on ‘iPhone Simulator’. Choose Make Alias. (You’ll probably need to enter your system password).
  5. The file “iOS Simulator.app” will be created in the folder.
  6. Copy it to the desktop and remove it from the folder.
  7. Now, click on it in the Desktop. The Simulator will start.
  8. From the Hardware menu at the top of the screen, choose the iOS device you want to test.
  9. To run a web app, choose Safari, then enter the URL.
  10. You can save the app to the Home screen, just as you would on an actual device.
  11. This technique will not work on .ipa files – just web apps like AppStudio produces. It will not run PhoneGap apps.
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