Simulators and Emulators
Mobile Device OS Testing
There are a number of different simulators/emulators available that can be used to test mobile devices.
For iOS they are called simulators, for Windows and Android they are called emulators.
These software solutions will allow initial testing to quickly detect the first round of bugs and defects. After this round of “virtual” testing, it is highly recommended that you perform actual physical tests on your target devices. Relying purely on “virtual” testing will likely lead to problems.
At the end of the day, nothing beats testing on a physical device.
Apple iOS Simulator
This simulator can be used to simulate both the iPhone and the iPad.
For reference, this is currently a download of around 1.4GB in size.
NOTE: This officially only runs only on Mac OS X so you need an Apple computer to use this.
The screen shot below shows the links available within the iOS Dev Center.
Provides a simulator that represents the iPhone and iPad web browsing experience within a Windows or Mac environment:
Available for Windows, OS X (Intel) and Linux (i386).
Download the Android SDK so that you can emulate a number of different platforms and device types based on the ROM that you download:
In my experience, more of an App tester than a browser test but the web site says:
“BlueStacks is not technically an Android emulator at all, but it does achieve a similar effect”
Windows Phone Emulator
Available as part of the Windows Phone SDK which includes the following
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone
- Windows Phone Emulator
- Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Assemblies
- Silverlight 4 SDK and DRT
- Windows Phone SDK 7.1 Extensions for XNA Game Studio 4.0
- Microsoft Expression Blend SDK for Windows Phone 7
- Microsoft Expression Blend SDK for Windows Phone OS 7.1
- WCF Data Services Client for Window Phone
- Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows Phone
- Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit
- Vista 7 32-bit and 64-bit
NOTE: Is not supported by MS in a virtual environment. You need a physical instance to run this properly. Based on my experience, you will get an error in a VM environment.
Microsoft Web Matrix
Whilst this application is not a true simulator, it has a feature that allows access to a number of simulators/emulators.
Within the application you can add both the Electric Plum iPhone and iPad simulator as well as the Windows Phone emulator to view your site: