Is there a simulator that I can run iOS on a Mac that would allow me to launch and use apps as if I was on the device? This is for consumer testing not for development.

What I am trying to do is to load the simulator app that would allow my Mac to act as if it was an iPhone/iPad. Then that laptop would join a consumer panel (ooVoo or Adobe Connect) and give the user control so that they can use and interact with an app that is available, while the research team is talking to them about the app.

Does anyone know how I can do this?

  • 2
    As far as I know the only simulator available is the one bundled with xcode. However you can only run apps which you developed (or have access to the source-code). Therefore this probably won't solve your problem. I might disappoint you by saying that such an simulator does not exist.
    – Chrisii
    Jun 25, 2012 at 19:04

3 Answers 3


I agree with Ryokuchasan: the only simulator I've heard of is the one bundled with the iOS development tools. This only works with apps you have the source code to because it compiles the iOS app for Intel to run in OS X (using the Simulator window as a screen).

It also has limited multi-touch capability, generally limited to pinch-to-zoom, so you likely won't be able to demo the majority of many apps. (Also, using the mouse to drive an iOS app can be awkward.)

If you want to do consumer testing with iOS apps, you need a physical device in the same room as the test user.

  • You don't necessarily need the source code, but you definitely need the app compiled for i386. There are helper tools out there, but I don't remember the names right now. Jun 26, 2012 at 10:32
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    @Xcoder I rolled back your edit because you made it ungrammatical. The words "app" and "the" don't get capitalized unless they start a sentence, "iOS Simulator" is two words that are not hyphenated, and I intended "source code to because" to read like that: adding a comma is incorrect.
    – Cajunluke
    Jun 26, 2012 at 14:42

No that's not possible because the iPhone has an ARM processor, while your Mac has an Intel x86 or a i386 processor. To get the application to run on your Mac you need the source code, compile it with Xcode, and run with iOS-Simulator.

But you can remote your iPhone screen from Mac with "Veency" from Cydia and "Chicken of the VNC" a short tutorial on how to do that you can find here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HPkWysj324

  • I haven't used it yet, but reflectorapp.com promises to do something similar on a non-jailbroken ("non-jailbreaked?") phone, using AirPlay mirroring in iOS. Mar 6, 2013 at 14:18

There are several web services such as App.io and Appetize.io that run apps in your browser.

See https://www.tenorshare.com/iphone-tips/ios-emulator-for-pc-mac.html for more options and details.

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    – nohillside
    Jul 24, 2019 at 5:55

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