Methods for installing apps on an iOS simulator

Installing apps on an iOS simulator is completely different than on a physical iOS device. On a physical iOS device you install .ipa files. Alternatively, on an iOS simulator you install bundles of .app or compressed bundles (format .zip).

If you want to compress a file of .app, in the Finder window, right-click its icon and select Compress.

Follow these steps to install an app on a virtual simulator

  1. Start the iOS Simulator from Xcode.
  2. Verify you have selected the correct device.
  3. If you already have the App that you plan to install, you can uninstall it. Install the updated release, then proceed.
  4. If you want to see List of simulators available, type this command in terminal:
    •  List xcrun simctl
  5. If you wish to see all the xcrun commands available for simulator, type this command in terminal:
    • xcrun simctl
  6. Identify the UID you want to use for simulator.
  7. You can copy/place the Device file that was received on your desktop for easy access.
  8. In the Terminal window, type the following command to install the App: 
    • xcrun simctl install 1A258AC5-E93B-4D7F-8788-A6E8A49025DD ~/Desktop/
  9. After the install command is executed, the App will be installed on the simulator and ready to run.
  10. Now the Simulator App is installed and you are able to test.

Follow these steps to install an app onto a wired simulator

  1. Go to Apps > Install Application.
  2. Choose the app you want to run on your Mac and open it.
  3. The app appears on the right-hand side of the iOS Gateway window in the list of installed apps.

Note: You cannot install apps that exist on the App Store onto the iOS Simulator.