An iPhone simulator replicates the Apple iPhone operating system on a desktop computer. The tool is used by developers to test iPhone applications without the need to upload the software to an iPhone.1 Apple released an official iPhone Simulator as a tool with their iPhone Developer SDK tool kit. Other versions of the iPhone simulator can be found online and used for free, though not all simulators provide the same features.2
Website designers can also use the iPhone simulator to see how their layout will look on an iPhone screen. The simulated web browser works with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox andSafari.3 It can be used on either a PC or a Mac computer.
One popular iPhone simulator is the version available at TestiPhone.com, which is a free online simulator. TestiPhone is available on the official website of the same name. The website advises developers that since the iPhone doesn’t support Java or Flash (as well as similar programs) some applications may appear to work on the simulator, but may not actually work on an iPhone.4
TestiPhone also may operate in different ways than an actual iPhone in terms of scrolling and zooming. On a real iPhone, users must scroll the browser using their fingertips. When viewing an online iPhone Simulator, the scrolling experience may differ from how an application may actually appear on the phone. Additionally, the demonstration of how an application may work on an iPhone simulator may be exactly how an application will look when zoomed in or out on a real iPhone.5
Apple iPhone SDK Simulator Demonstration
In a demonstration of the official version of the Apple iPhone SDK simulator, or emulator, the users describe the process by which the simulator works and how someone would acquire the software. Users must have a iPhone developer account with Apple to download the software, allowing them to test their prospective applications on their computers prior to sending them in for approval from Apple.