Building Windows Store apps in Visual Studio 2013 has gotten a lot more fun with the Simulator. At first, this seemed to be the same thing as the Emulator for Windows Phone development, but there are some interesting differences.
First, the Simulator actually seems to be closer to the simulator used for Pixel Sense (nee Microsoft Surface 2) development since it allows us to use a mouse to simulate finger touches as well as two finger gestures. In general, we should all be using touch screens for development – but in the field or on unusual environments like Parallels running on a Mac, this isn’t always doable. Being able to use the simulator gives us an out. Additionally, because it allows us to simulate alternative aspect ratios and resolutions, it can be handy even when a touch display is readily available.
The really cool thing about the Simulator, though, is that when it fires up, it seems to create a VM of my current system. I start a new project, set the debug target to “Simulator” and punch F5.
My desktop background image shows up inside the Simulator and all my apps show up in the Tiles screen.
I can even search for Visual Studio 2013 with the Search charm and find VS13.
Then I can fire it up.
Then I can look at the bottom of the file menu and, under recent project, find the project I am currently running inside the Simulator!
The next step is obvious, right? I set the target of the instance of visual studio running inside my Simulator, set that to “Simulator” and hit F5 to get a neat message:
“Unable to start the Simulator. Another user on this computer is running Simulator, can not start Simulator.”
This is not standard English, so it’s especially fascinating. As everyone knows, the worthwhile Microsoft error messages are the ones that have never been spellchecked.
Does anyone know if I can log into the simulator as a different user at this point? This is a rabbit hole I really want to go down.