iOS Simulator Launcher - Simulator AppOn OS X, the best way to almost natively test apps or websites is by using the so called “iOS Simulator” (now named simply “Simulator”) which is available as part of the installed Xcode Development Tools. Even though it requires a development suite installed, the tool itself is not only relevant for developers but also for testing or previewing e.g. mobile optimized websites or do a Screen Recording in iOS!

By default, after having Xcode installed on your Mac, the Simulator.app must be started via

Xcode.app > Xcode > Open Developer Tool > Simulator

This way to start it is cumbersome and takes a lot of time.
iOS Simulator Launcher 01 - Xcode default launch

But good news: the iOS Simulator is delivered as a standalone app actually – hidden inside the Xcode.app Package Contents!

So to bypass Xcode for starting the Simulator, I wrote a simple Automator application which directly launches the Simulator.app!
You can download it here or – by following these steps – create it yourself.
 

  1. The Simulator.app is not available standalone, therefore you need Xcode installed on your Mac: Install Xcode (Mac App Store)
  2. Open the Automator.app and create a new “Application”-workflow
    iOS Simulator Launcher 03 - Automator Workflow Step 01
  3. Add the Automator-Action “Launch Application” into the workflow-area
  4. Using it’s dropdown, scroll to the bottom and choose “Other…”
    iOS Simulator Launcher 03 - Automator Workflow Step 02
  5. Now it’s time to select the Simulator.app – but to get inside the Xcode App-Package, you have to hit the Command+G shortcut. In the appearing “Go to folder”-dialogue, enter the following path:
    /Applications/Xcode/Contents/Developer/Applications/Simulator

    iOS Simulator Launcher 03 - Automator Workflow Step 03

  6. Back in Automator, you can test it using the “Run“-button. If all is working, save it as an Application – and you’re done!

iOS Simulator Launcher 04 - Launch Custom App

Enjoy saving time starting the iOS Simulator.app from now on 🙂

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