Interacting with Simulator

Simulator runs devices from different platforms including iPhone, iPad, iWatch, and Apple TV. Interacting with Simulator differs from interacting with an actual device. This chapter covers the ways of interacting that are the common to all platforms. Other interactions, such as manipulating the user interface, differ between touch based devices and Apple TV and are covered in different chapters.

In this chapter you learn how to:

For information on specific ways of interacting with iOS and watchOS devices, see Interacting with iOS and watchOS.

For information on interacting with tvOS, see Interacting with tvOS.

Using the Mac Keyboard for Input

The Simulator can use the keyboard on your Mac as input to the simulated device. For you to most accurately simulate a device in Simulator, the simulator uses iOS keyboard layouts, as opposed to OS X keyboard layouts. If you have chosen Hardware > Keyboard > iOS Uses Same Keyboard Layout As OS X, Simulator automatically selects the keyboard that most closely matches the keyboard layout of your Mac. For most cases, leave this option selected. However, if you do feel a need to disable it—allowing you to select completely different keyboard layouts for your Mac and Simulator—choose Hardware > Keyboard > iOS Uses Same Keyboard Layout As OS X. Choose the same menu item again to enable the option.

To add a keyboard layout on your Mac

  1. Open System Preferences, and choose the Keyboard preference.

  2. Select the Input Sources pane.

  3. Press the Add button (+) to show the keyboard layout chooser.

  4. Choose the desired keyboard, and press Add. The new keyboard layout is added to the list of available layouts.

    This screenshot shows the keyboard layout chooser with the Swiss German layout selected:


To select a keyboard layout on your Mac

  1. Select the desired keyboard from the Input menubar dropdown. An example menu is shown below.


    If the Input menubar item is not in the Mac menubar, use the following steps to add it:

    1. Open System Preferences and choose the Keyboard preference.

    2. Select the Input Sources pane.

    3. Select “Show Input menu in menu bar” as shown here:


Installing Apps

When you build your app for Simulator, Xcode automatically installs it in the selected simulation environment. Each simulation environment emulates a different device. Installing your app in one environment does not install it in any other. It is also possible to have different versions of your app in different environments.

Taking a Screenshot of the Simulator

In Simulator you can copy a screenshot of the iOS device simulator to your Mac Clipboard or save a screenshot to the desktop. To capture any simulated external display save the screenshot as a file.

Viewing the Simulated Device’s Screen

Even though Simulator runs on all Mac computers, how it appears may differ between models. If the resolution of the simulated device is too large for the Simulator window to fit on your screen, scale Simulator by choosing Window > Scale > percentage of choice.