March 14, 2023

What Are Simulators and Emulators? An Examination of Emulation vs. Simulation

Continuous Testing

In 2023, there are more applications in the respective Android and iOS app stroes than ever before. Based on a poll conducted in 2022, there are more than 2.5 million applications and nearly 500,000 publishers in the Google Play Store alone. This speaks to the ever-increasing importance for teams to leverage the use of emulator and simulator testing for their apps.

Often the terms simulation and emulation are used interchangeably. But, there is a distinct difference between emulators vs. simulators. Both mimic the real thing in a virtual environment. However, the differences between emulation vs. simulation are quite big when it comes to mobile automation. 

Keep reading for an emulation definition, simulation definition, and to understand the differences between them.

Emulation vs. Simulation

A simulator creates an environment that mimics the behaviors, variables, and configurations that exist in an iOS app’s production environment. An emulator is designed to mimic all of the hardware and software features for the Android app production environment of a real device.

What Are Simulators?

Simulators mimic the basic behaviors of a real device. Simulators mean you're copying things from the real world into a virtual environment to give an idea about how that thing would work. It simulates the basic behavior but doesn’t necessarily follow all the rules of the real environment.

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