I am an experienced PC/mobile app developer trying to build an iPad app but I don't have access to a physical device. I have a PC and an Android phone (whatever good that is!)

The app is essentially a conversion of a Flash-based software. I'm going to use Adobe AIR to target the iPhone/iPad (Adobe has built support for this natively). I have build an Android app using this process and it has been seamless. Since I'm not going to use XCode (unless needed) and Adobe has an iPhone Simulator integration.

Is there any way I can build an iPad app without a physical iPad/iPhone device? Are there emulators on the PC/MacOSX side that I could use and would I be able to build a functioning app?

What I can do:

  1. Install MacOSX on my Windows machine and turn it into a Hackintosh. Nothing wierd here, it would work like a normal mac and support XCode and everything.

  2. Build the app in Adobe AIR or XCode

  3. Test on a iPad/iPhone Emulator on my Hackintosh or PC

In the worst case I'll have to:

  1. Spend like $400 or whatever and buy a physical iPad/iPhone.

  2. Borrow an apple device from a friend.


1 Answer 1


It is highly not recommended to make an iPad game without a device.

The simulator is decent, but some things cannot be tested properly on it. For example, In App Purchases cannot be tested without a device. And believe me, you want to test those things.

You also won't get much of an idea of its performance on the simulator since it may run much faster or much slower than a device, depending on your host system's specs.

  • \$\begingroup\$ just to correct one thing... IAP works on simulator perfectly \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2014 at 5:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure if it's still the case, but in the past, the graphics chip in the simulator was actually much slower (arguably that depended on the host system). In any case, +1 because the real performance characteristics between simulator and device will be wildly different in either direction \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2014 at 9:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ developer.apple.com/library/mac/releasenotes/DeveloperTools/… "StoreKit (In-App purchases) will not work in the Simulator." (as of Xcode 5.0.1) Has this changed? \$\endgroup\$
    – Almo
    Feb 10, 2014 at 11:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .