iOS Emulators Online or iOS Simulators

iOS Simulators

Real iOS Devices

Online iOS Emulators vs Real iOS devices

iOS Simulators

Real iOS Devices

iOS Simulator vs Physical iOS Devices for App Testing

Testing you mobile app on iOS Emulator

The Apple iOS Simulator, which ships as part of Xcode, is a tool for developing and prototyping your mobile app. While the iOS Simulator can be used to test your app's basic behaviour, it is severely limited as a testing platform. In order to effectively test your app across real world scenarios, it is essential to use real mobile devices.

Real iOS Devices vs Simulator comparison

Use the differences between Simulator and physical devices to help you determine what features and functionality to test in Simulator and what to test on physical devices.

iOS Simulator Physical iOS Device Browserstack Real Devices
iOS App Functionality
Basic functionality testing of iOS apps
UI Layout testing
UI performance (transitions and animations)
System testing (bringing your app to foreground and background)
Real User-condition testing (testing interrupts, battery consumption, CPU & memory utilisation)
Push Notifications
Natural gestures (tap, scroll, zoom, pinch, pinch and zoom and more)
Display (resolutions, pixel per point, colors)
Hardware functionality (bluetooth, gps, motion support, barometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor and more) Coming soon
App performance testing (processing, graphics, networking speed, etc.)
OpenGL ES support Coming soon
Framework Support (ARKit, External accessory, HomeKit, IOSurface, Message UI, etc)
API Feature Support (Metal, Metalkit, UIBackgroundModesKey, Support for handoff, UIVideoEditorController in UIKit)
100 % Testing accuracy

Testing your iOS app on real devices in the cloud

Though physical iOS devices have the benefit of testing performance and accuracy, this requires buying, configuring and maintaining a lab of devices. The Browserstack Real Device Cloud gives you instant access to a range of real iPhones & tablets starting from iOS version 8 to test your mobile applications upto the most recent versions, right from your browser.

Criteria Real iOS Device BrowserStack Real Device Cloud
Procurement Difficult Easy
Fresh factory reset devices everytime Difficult Easy
Maintenance Difficult Easy
Parallel testing Difficult Easy
Sharing devices between remote teams Difficult Easy
Device coverage Hard to buy and maintain all the devices Provides wide spectrum of real iOS devices. View entire list.
Cost Up to $1200 per device $59 per month