Fixing Xcode’s iPhone XS, XS Max and XR Simulator Names and iOS Versions

Introduction

At the time of writing Xcode 10.2 has just been released. I was working through all the latest iOS 12.2 devices to run Dave Verwer’s excellent SimulatorStatusMagic app to clean up the status bars, ready for taking new App Store screenshots, when I noticed something strange.

In its device chooser menu, Xcode usually shows version numbers alongside each device simulator that is available for multiple iOS versions. The exact choices listed depends on which simulator versions you’ve downloaded in the past and the minimum deployment target for your current project:

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Some of the Xcode 10.2 simulators available showing different iOS versions

The Problem

When I got as far as the iPhone Xs I noticed there were no version numbers being shown. I had iOS 12.0 and 12.2 versions of the Xs, Xs Max and Xʀ available but they were being listed in two separate groups:

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iOS 12.0 and 12.2 iPhone XS, XS Max and Xʀ simulators are not shown with version numbers

Look closely and you will see that the names of the iOS 12.2 devices have changed slightly. The “XR” is now “Xʀ” — it uses a small cap. The XS is very probably also using a small cap, but a lowercase “s” looks the same to me! These different names are why Xcode is treating them as separate devices and not grouping them together with disambiguating version numbers.

I might be seeing this problem because I prefer to manually download Xcode versions so that I can easily switch between them in case I need to use an older version to release an app. If I used the Mac App Store version of Xcode then maybe this problem would not have occurred. My article Working with Multiple Versions of Xcode explains the benefits of manual downloads and describes how to do this.

If you are reading this article from the future then you will probably see multiple numbered versions with the new names (e.g. for iOS 12.2, 12.3, 13.0…) and a single set of three iOS 12.0 devices without numbers.

The Solution

We need to change the names of the pre-iOS 12.2 variants to exactly match the new spelling. Use the Add Additional Simulators... menu item at the bottom of the device list to open Xcode’s Simulators configuration window:

Xcode’s Simulator Configuration Window with mismatched device names

In the screenshot above you can see that the selected simulator for “iPhone XR” runs iOS 12.0. The “iPhone Xʀ” at the end of the iOS section is the iOS 12.2 version.

  • Select the latest “iPhone Xʀ” entry, right click and choose “Copy Name”.
  • Select the older “iPhone XR” row and press the Return key to edit its name.
  • The existing name should already be highlighted so you can just press ⌘V to replace it with the new name.
  • Press the Return key again to finish editing.

Repeat these steps for the iPhone Xs and Xs Max simulators, copy and pasting the new name into any older iPhone XS, XS Max and XR simulators you have available. If you have more than one set of devices with the old names, update them in the same way too.

Xcode’s Simulator Configuration Window with fixed device names

To fully pick up the name changes it seems that you have to close and re-open your project. It might be simplest, and safest, to just quit and restart Xcode!

Open the device chooser drop down again and the normal grouping and version number annotations can be seen: 🎉

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iOS 12.0 and 12.2 iPhone XS, XS Max and Xʀ simulators are now shown with version numbers

Other Articles That You Might Like

If you’re an iOS developer you might be interested in my long-running series of articles that show how apps adapt to newer device sizes depending on which Xcode version they are built with:

The screenshots in those articles were taken from the iOS simulator running my Adaptivity iOS app. There is an iPhone-only version of the app to show How iPhone-only Apps Appear on iPad (it changed in iOS 12).

You may not have realised that there were iPad Navigation Bar and Toolbar Height Changes in iOS 12. You must certainly have noticed the View Controller Presentation Changes in iOS 13.

I have also written about External Display Support on iOS and Working with Multiple Versions of Xcode.

If you found any of these articles helpful then please take a look at my apps in the iOS App Store to see if there’s anything that you’d like to download (especially the paid ones 😀). If you work with a lot of Xcode projects you might like my Mac Menu Bar utility XcLauncher.

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Independent and freelance software developer for iPhone, iPad and Mac

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