Many iPhone developers rely on the virtual environment when testing their applications. However, even when the iPhone is connected via USB, when connecting an iPhone to Mac it may still not be recognized by VirtualBox. So, a few questions arise: is it possible to connect iPhone to VirtualBox and test apps in macOS hosted on VM? And if there are any alternatives that will allow redirecting iPhone to VirtualBox that emulates Mac?
We will provide extensive answers to both of these questions in the article to follow, so read on.
- How to connect iPhone to VirtualBox
- An alternative solution using an effective USB redirection application
- The advantages of using software to establish VirtualBox for iPhone connectivity
How to connect iPhone to VirtualBox
In order to connect an iPhone to VirtualBox, you have to install the most current version of VirtualBox on a guest machine running either the Windows or Linux operating system. It is important to also install the extension pack that provides additional VirtualBox features.
The extension pack adds some interesting features to the versatility of VirtualBox. The addition that is of the most interest to us is VirtualBox USB passthrough - the additional support afforded for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices. This functionality enables the connection of your iPhone to your VirtualBox instance.
Steps for connecting VirtualBox to your iPhone
If VirtualBox does not recognize iPhone, do the following:
- Open VirtualBox and select "Preferences" from the File menu. Add the extensions file by navigating to “Extensions” within “Preferences”.
- Attach the iPhone to the computer and open VirtualBox. Select the virtual machine that you will use with the iPhone and access the machine’s settings.
- In the left pane, click the “USB" option from the panel on the left. You want the "Enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller" and "Enable USB Controller" to both be selected.
- Select the "Add" button located on the window’s right side and choose the iPhone. Then, close the settings by clicking “OK”.
- Once the USB options have been configured, it is time to start the virtual machine. Click on the “Devices” menu located in the “Title” bar and select “USB Devices”.
- Select your iPhone so it can be mounted in the VM. After the device is mounted, you can access the iPhone in the same way you would as if it was connected to the host operating system.
With the above configuration, you can use Xcode from inside of VirtualBox to install, test, and debug iPhone apps.
An alternative solution using an effective USB redirection application
USB support is not provided by default in many virtualization solutions. In situations where VirtualBox does not recognize the iPhone, a third-party software tool can solve the problem.