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A Look at Top Android Emulators for iOS Devices

In this post, we take a look at several of today's top Android emulators for iOS devices. How do they stack up? What are the alternatives?

Android or iOS? Both operating systems are their own animals. But one thing is set in stone. And that is that it’s impossible for iOS apps to run on Android, and Android apps to run on iOS. And because of the non-compatibility, if Android developers want to make sure their apps will function on an iOS device, they may use an emulator to mimic an Android operating system. In other words, they need Android emulators for iOS devices.

Testing modern apps is complicated and expensive. Emulators are one of the most popular ways to perform testing without having to purchase and maintain many different devices.

While emulators (and simulators – which are not the same thing) can save money, they aren’t the optimal method for testing. They aren’t fail proof.  In this article, we discuss some popular Android emulators for iOS and their associated pros and cons.

What’s an emulator?

Very simply, an emulator is a third-party program that lets a host system or device behave like another guest system or device. The apps or operating system on the emulated system can be accessed. Plus the original software can run on the host as well.

Ideally, an emulator allows you and your team to conduct application tests without having to purchase additional devices. Emulators aren’t just for testing though. They can be used for gaming or for enjoying apps native to other operating systems.

However, not all emulators are the same. Some won’t require use a lot of resources, while others will consume large amounts of processing and battery power. Some emulators will run applications, where others emulate the entire operating system. 

An Android Virtual Device is software used to imitate the Android OS and its functionality on a non-Android device. 

An emulator should be selected in accordance with its planned use due to the differences in performance and functionality.

Popular Android emulators for iOS

Considering the popularity of Android’s OS, it isn’t surprising that it dominates the market. Neither is it a surprise that a huge number of apps are for games, and is well represented by the number of emulators for gaming.

You will find many good emulators available on the market. In alphabetic order, the following are some popular Android emulators for iOS.

Alien Dalvik

One of the most popular Android emulators for both iPhone and iPad, Alien Dalvik is a good example of an emulator that performs well when it comes to aiding in application development and customization.


  • Excellent performance.
  • Excellent responsiveness.


  • Nothing specific, but general emulator issues (see below)


iAndroid is one of the most popular emulators. iAndroid will run on iPhone, iPad, iPod, iPod touch, and others.


  • Ease of use with simple features and functions.
  • Smooth interface. 


  • Slow performance of device.
  • Reports of high battery use.
  • Reports of battery overheating.


MechDome is another good emulator for app developers to use for testing.


  • Converts an unmodified Android app into native iOS or OS X.  


  • Google Play Services API isn’t supported.
  • Issues in handling background services. 
  • Android’s rich intent system for inter-app communication is absent.  


GBA4iOS is an advanced level GameBoy emulator and is good for iOS devices. The interface is very smooth and provides an excellent experience. 


  • Can connect and sync with Google Drive.
  • Compatible with Safari browser to download ROM files.
  • Quality display and graphics.


  • Can’t be downloaded from App Store.
  • Needs a lot of processing power.
  • Unexpected glitches may occur in gaming sessions.
  • May experience a drop in quality of Android services.
An image of an outlined human figure next to a more abstract representation, symbolizing emulation
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iNDS Emulator

iNDS Emulator is famous for gaming performance. And can be used for any non-jailbroken iPhone.


  • Every Nintendo DS game will play on iOS.
  • Excellent display and graphics.
  • Works well on every iOS device.


  • Battery drains fast.
  • Battery may overheat.
  • May experiences low device performance.


NDS4iOS is a Nintendo emulator and is one of the most well-known of its type.


  • Easy to use.
  • Fast.


  • Not available in the App Store.
  • Only available from a third-party.

Emulation isn’t a perfect solution

Even though emulators can greatly aid in testing apps, and they’re quick and easy to use, they can’t test as completely as a real device.

While emulators have their place in testing, some things simply can’t be simulated. And they just don’t have a complete range of needed capabilities for full testing. At the end of the day, emulators approximate testing. And emulators also leave some things to guesswork.

As good as some emulators are, nothing will ever surpass testing on real devices.

And that can be a problem for some business. Because building and maintaining a device lab is very expensive. So much so that the cost is prohibitive for many businesses.

A superior alternative: Real device testing

The answer to the costs associated with real device labs lies in solutions through cloud technology.

It’s no longer necessary to have your own device lab. Advancements have made it possible, with cloud technology, to test applications on real devices. This gives you all the advantages, without the cost.

Sofy makes it possible to meet the needs of demanding tests with their no-code platform through cloud technology. This alternative removes all guesswork. You’ll know if your app is going to function properly on actual devices. Because you can test on real devices.

Sofy’s platform makes it possible to develop, test, and release in a timely manner. Combined with the cost savings of not having to maintain a device lab, it’s easy to see why using cloud technology for testing is a winning solution.

So, what’s best for me?

Using emulators, including Android emulators for iOS, can be a big help in testing. But there’s no doubt that it’s impossible to test everything and leave nothing to guesswork.

It’s equally true that building and maintaining a real device lab is cost prohibitive for many businesses.

For some, it’s just a matter of course to perform testing through emulators, simulators, and real device testing. But many companies find a perfect solution through cloud technology and the many different devices available at Sofy.

It’s impossible to beat the benefits of using a real device lab. Sofy makes it possible to perform all the testing necessary to remove the guesswork and release builds that work exactly as they’re supposed to.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed above are those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official beliefs or positions of Sofy.