iOS Simulator, Website Display Problems (in iOS 8 and below)

I seriously doubt I am the only one who uses the Simulator app to test Blocs websites on various iOS devices. For those of you who do use Simulator, have you noticed that any device chosen in the iOS 8.1 submenu will not display your Blocs websites as expected? All devices in the Simulator’s iOS 12.1 submenu display my Blocs site just fine.

Below is a side-by-side in the Simulator which clearly shows the problem.

Flipping that virtual iOS 8.1 iPad Air to landscape orientation displays the page in the same way – all content in a single column sitting at the far left, with empty space at right.

Simulator doesn’t allow me to test iOS 9, 10 or 11, so I cannot say what users of those iOS versions will see. But it does concern me about what versions of iOS Blocs is compatible with (i.e., where your site on those iOS versions looks as you expect). Some older iOS devices cannot be upgraded to the newest version of iOS, so this is a serious consideration for all of us.

I’m using the latest version of Blocs 3. Any thoughts?


James W.

Yes, my thoughts are to forget using that useless App called Simulator.

Either sign up to an expensive $35/month web service or buy an iPad 2 and a Touchscreen Windows10 machine if you’re serious about web design.

For 99% of testing Safari is perfectly good enough for width of display testing.

IOS 8 is dead and anyone worth doing business with will have updated to IOS9, hence my suggestion to get an iPad 2 (if you don’t have one).

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Not sure I understand your reasoning AT ALL here. You seem to be knocking Apple’s own simulator, which in my years of experience with it, quite perfectly matches what I see on ACTUAL iOS DEVICES. Makes zero sense to pay a penny for something else that won’t do the job any better.

Safari is not perfect as I see things that I see in FireFox and/or Chrome. So I test in all three of those browsers on my 5k iMac, in addition to testing in the simulator.

When designing my sites in Freeway I hardly ever tested in the simulator because my Freeway sites are NOT responsive. But since responsive design really does target mobile devices more than desktops and notebooks, I feel it critically important to test on iOS devices. I don’t go so far as to test on Android, as that is yet another layer of bother I’d rather not contend with, and I just assume that if iOS handles my site well, stupid Android (yes, by pro-iOS bias seethes!) will probably display it about as well.

iOS 8 may be dead, but since I am unsure how to test iOS 9 (my iPad 3 Retina is locked to iOS 9 and cannot be upgraded, and yes, it is STILL in use, and NO, I am not alone in this regard), I can only use the simulator to test iOS 8. Is paying $35/mo worth it to get iOS 9 testing. Ha! Are you kidding? NO. Absolutely. NO. But I suspect that there isn’t a huge gap between iOS 8 and iOS 9, and as I’ve repeatedly said, just because you don’t use older iOS devices doesn’t mean other people follow your cutting edge lead.

It took many years and much review of my web visitors (as per Google Analytics) before I make the decision to ditch support of Internet Explorer 6 in my Freeway sites. Ditto for my decision on IE 7 and 8. But I still support IE 9 through 11 because Google Analytics shows me that a huge percentage of our web visitors here in Japan use those browser versions. And that’s really the crux of the matter. I am in Japan. Nearly all our web visitors are from Japan. It therefore behoves me to cater to the needs of our Japanese web visitors, which tend to hold on to older technology longer than cutting edge Americans and Europeans do. Hence all I’ve written on this subject.

Now that my defensive argument is finished (and hopefully I won’t have to continue to defend myself on this point, because no one will change my mind about it), I would like to hear from someone who can tell me about browser compatibility with Blocs. No biases. No questions about “why do you care” and such. But just unbiased information that can technically explain what browsers are not supported by Blocs 3.x. For truly, as one can see from my previous post, browsers used in iOS 8 display Blocs 3.x sites incorrectly.

Thank you,

James W.

Without any further information I assumed you were talking about

Are you talking about the old Xcode Simulator? Safari Responsive design Mode? What is the Simulator App? A quick research revealed nothing. Is it a Freeway thing?

I suspect that most web sites created in the last few years would not display perfectly on IOS8 but would be fine on IOS 9 which IOS8 users can update to.

The screenshot I posted in my opening post is Apple’s Simulator app that is a part of XCODE.

–James W.

All you do is complain lol maybe blocs isn’t for you!


Since we are talking about responsive device simulators, lets not forget about Solis also.

Using Solis With Blocs

I felt it was worthwhile mentioning in case any new users come across this thread and were previously not aware regarding the existence and availability of Solis to compliment Blocs.



What an awful thing to say about a fellow Blocs user and contributor. I reject the mentality which says, “If you aren’t quiet in the forums and blissfully happy about every single feature of Blocs like me, Blocs isn’t for you.” The truth is that I purchased the software and I am growing to really like Blocs; and in order to make it better, I mention things I notice. I did the same for decades with SoftPress Freeway, never holding back when a thought came to mind. Mentioning things is not a sin. If anything is offensive to our mutual end goal here, I would say it is apathy. The more we all contribute to making Blocs better, the better Blocs will become.

With that said, all I did was ask a question about browser compatibility and no one has effectively answer that question yet, instead choosing to steer the conversation in a very different direction. (One person even called Apple’s “Simulator” app “useless.”) So to steer it back on topic I shall speak to the top dog…

@Norm, is the code generated by Blocs incompatible with browsers in iOS9 and earlier? If so, is it because of the limitations on the latest version of Bootstrap? (Please see my opening post.)

Many thanks for your kind help and excellent work on Blocs.

James W.


Actually there is quite a difference between the two.

Blocs 3 is based upon Bootstrap 4, Bootstrap 4 supports the following browsers.

Chrome >= 45
Firefox >= 38
Edge >= 12
Explorer >= 10
iOS >= 9
Safari >= 9
Android >= 4.4
Opera >= 30

I’m not sure if I changed your mind, but that is the unbiased information you sought after. There is a multitude of usage stats and technical criteria to back up the reasoning as to why things move forward and support for older versions end, hopefully you can also accept this.

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Thank you for the answer.

For my fellow Blocs users who find this thread and who understand that testing in various browser is important, I would like to share some new information that you may find useful. Specifically, I figured out how to simulate iOS 9 in Apple’s XCODE “Simulator” app, as follows:

  1. Launch XCODE.
  2. Xcode > Preferences… > Components
  3. Scroll down until you see “iOS 9.3 Simulator” and then click the gray circle with a down-arrow in it. You will be asked to authenticate a couple times during installation.
  4. When the install completes, just launch the Simulator app, click the Hardware menu and choose Device, and then you should see iOS 9.3 in there.

My Blocs 3.1 sites display exactly the same on iOS 9.3 devices (including iPhones as old as the 4s) as they do on the latest iOS 12.1 devices (which include the iPhone 5s and newer).

Good. Probably a good idea to change the title of this thread then.

No changes needed to the title of this thread in light of the fact that Blocs websites, in my Simulator testing anyway, still have issues on older versions of mobile Safari present in iOS 8 and earlier. Whether or not that matters to the reader of this thread is up to them.

I disagree. It’s better to be specific. Shouldn’t force someone to read a thread that’s not important to them. Your title as written is practically a must read and it’s really not. Easy solve add “IOS 8 and below”.


I agree. I have only clicked this thread because I thought it was something else. I think now with ‘iOS 8 and below’ it is much clearer.

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It’s up to you to make the title as crystal clear as possible because you are initiating the conversation. If the title is not clear or misleading, then you risk losing credibility and alienating readers by wasting their time reading a thread. The reader does not control this, because you control this.

FYI, I initially read it and found it confusing and misleading. The thread is really about Xcode’s Simulator and how Blocs sites display perfectly when you know how to select the correct IOS version. Blocs is based on Bootstrap4 and there is a well publicised broad list of supported OS types. What you tested on is not supported by Bootstrap4.

The issues are not “display problems”. Bootstrap4 just does not support the old unsupported IOS version (IOS8) that you tested your site on, using a developer tool that has nothing to do with Blocs.


The title of this thread has been edited and should satisfy the 3 individuals who beat that point until it turned blue. Nothing further need be said about that.

For the record, I staunchly disagree with the notion that Apple’s XCODE Simulator app is “a developer tool that has nothing to do with Blocs.” The very first reply I received in this thread dared to label Apple’s Simulator app as “useless,” and I refuted that notion by saying it most assuredly is NOT useless for the purpose of browser testing beyond the Mac version of Safari. Blocs, like SoftPress Freeway, is a web design tool, and any good web designer tests their websites in various browser before they go live, testing which has very much to do with Blocs and the web code it generates, just as it has to do with Freeway and the web code it generates. We for DECADES on FreewayTalk and in their beta program spoke about how sites looked in given browsers. Moreover, whether a browser is truly considered “old” or not depends on the web designer in their given country in light of the browser versions that their web visitors tend to use. So unless one is here in Japan, one really cannot speak too strongly about how “old” (and therefore “ought to be ignored”) the browsers my website visitors tend to use, as I alone am the one who reviews the Google Analytics data.

Web designers must make decisions about what is acceptable and what is not in the browser, what browsers to support and what not to support. Treating the topic of browser testing (be that in Apple’s Simulator or Safari or anything else) flippantly is not acceptable to me. It is indeed important. At the end of the day though, it matters little to me if others care nothing about older browsers. I am not creating websites that satisfy a few guys in an online forum but rather a company in Japan that has unique needs which most likely differ from many or even most of you. So as far as I am concerned, nothing further needs to be said or should be said on this point (in this thread).

My humble thanks to @Blocs_User who directly, clearly, and briefly answered my question in this thread. I would also like to thank him sincerely for his previous posts which were informative and helpful, and did not in any way whatsoever speak ill of my desire to test in various browsers, nor did he diminish the importance of Apple’s Simulator app. Bless you, @Blocs_User!

For other Blocs users who come along later and read through this thread and who understand the importance of browser testing and Apple’s Simulator, I would once again refer you to my earlier post which gives 4 steps on how to add the iOS versions of your choice in the Simulator app. Happy simulating, and best wishes to one and all!