Remoted iOS Simulator (for Windows)

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last updated: 2017-04

Test and debug iOS apps entirely within Visual Studio Enterprise on Windows

Download and Install

Download the installer and install on your Windows computer. Visual Studio Enterprise with Xamarin should already be installed.

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Using a remote iOS Simulator requires Visual Studio Enterprise

Getting Started

To use the remote iOS simulator:

  1. Make sure Visual Studio has connected to your Mac at least once before starting the remote iOS Simulator.
  2. Ensure an iOS or tvOS app is the Startup Project and start debugging.

You can disable the remote iOS simulator from Tools > Options > Xamarin > iOS Settings by unchecking the box for Remote Simulator to Windows shown here:

The iOS simulator will then open on the connected Mac computer. Check this option to turn the remote iOS simulator back on.

Features

The remote iOS Simulator provides you with a way to test and debug iOS apps on the simulator entirely from Visual Studio on Windows.

Simulator Window

The window toolbar includes a number of buttons to interact with the simulator:

  • Home – simulates the home button on the device.
  • Lock – locks the simulator (you can swipe to unlock).
  • Screenshot – saves a screenshot of the simulator to disk.
  • Settings – configure the keyboard and location.

    • Other options – a variety of simulator options are available such as rotate, shake, or invoke other states in the simulator. When some options are obscured, they can be accessed from the ellipsis icon that appears in the toolbar, or by right-clicking on the window.

Settings

The "gear" icon opens the Settings window:

This allows you to enable the hardware keyboard on the simulator, and choose what location is reported to the device (including a static location, or other moving location options).

Other Options

Right-click anywhere in the simulator window to view all the options available in the simulator, such as rotation, triggering a shake gesture, and rebooting the simulator:

Touchscreen Support

Most modern Windows computers have touch screens, and the remote iOS simulator lets you touch the simulator window to test user interactions in your iOS app.

This includes pinching, swiping, and multiple-finger touch gestures - things that previously could only be easily tested on physical devices.

Stylus support in Windows is also translated to Apple Pencil input on the simulator.

Xamarin Workbook

If it's not already installed, install the Xamarin Workbooks app first. The workbook file should download automatically, but if it doesn't, just click to start the workbook download manually.