An emulator is a program that duplicates or mimics the functions of one system on a different system. Emulators exist in many forms and have different uses. An iPhone emulator can be used to test or run apps for the smartphone, and it is of particular importance to app developers. There are various emulators that you can download to test your apps, but for the purpose of this tutorial, we will use MobiOne Studio. MobiOne is one of the most popular programs of its kind and has received high ratings from several critics in the tech industry.
Now that you have MobiOne downloaded and installed on your computer, you have all your app testing needs at your disposal. If you do not have your app designed as of yet, you can use the MobiOne Design Center to create one rather easily. If your app is ready to be tested, open up the MobiOne Test Center. It can be accessed from your Start menu, or, if you have the Design Center already opened, it can be accessed by clicking the small green icon on the far right of the menu bar at the top of the screen.
In the Test Center, click on File. Select Open HTML File. Your app will appear in the emulator automatically if you made it in the MobiOne Design Center. Otherwise, locate the HTML file on your computer to load it in.
Once your app appears, you can begin testing it in the emulator. You can rotate it between portrait and landscape mode to see how it looks by clicking on the rotate button in the toolbar at the top of the screen. You can also see how it reacts to the zoom feature by holding the Ctrl key and using your mouse. This allows you to mimic pinching and zooming gestures that users would perform on their iPhones. Click around the app to see how it reacts as well.
MobiOne offers you plenty of tools to accurately test your app and debug it before sending it to others. It has a resource monitor, debugger, and much more. As with any emulator, you want to be able to mock the app's behavior on the iPhone as much as possible so you can tweak it as needed.
If you are ready to see how your app reacts on your iPhone, you can send it to the smartphone via the Test Center. Look for the small mail icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Click on it and it will allow you to send the app to your iPhone as either an attachment in an email or a link in a text message. From there, you can test the app on your iPhone to see its real world behavior.
Other Testing Options
MobiOne is just one example of a solid iPhone emulator that not only covers your testing needs, but also your design necessities. As mentioned, there are plenty of other emulators on the market that you can choose from. There are also online emulators that will allow you to test your app through your web browser. Most of the popular web browsers are supported, although the testing you can accomplish is more limited than in a comprehensive program like MobiOne.
One example of an online emulator is TestiPhone. All you have to do is navigate to the emulator's site and enter in the URL of your app in the emulator's address bar. Once your app loads, you can click around the emulator to see how it functions. This is a decent alternative when you want to test an app quickly. If you really want the best emulator for testing your apps, go the MobiOne route or choose a similar program.