Network Link Conditioner – iOS

Need to have access to the higher levels of a gaming application without paying much effort? “Oh yeah!” and if the answer that popped up in your head was to use the hacked version of the gaming application, then YOU ARE WRONG!!! You can do so by another means and to figure out how, keep going! “Network Link Conditioner” is the answer.

The issue that our team ran into was that a client needed our team to clear the levels of his gaming application without paying much effort. First of all, the team tried to clear the levels of the game just by playing. After which, the team noticed that it would be very difficult to clear the levels of the game just by playing in the normal mode. This moment the team decided to research over the internet to “How to clear the levels of the game easily without using the hack version”. After some research, we did found a solution, which was to use the Network Link Conditioner on iOS.

Using the Network Link Conditioner on iOS, enables the user to move to DEVELOPER mode. Through this, we can set network link quality / conditions on WiFi / Cellular or both interfaces. This introduces users with already predefined set of profiles and each profile stimulates different conditions of network link. And the profiles are:-

  1. 100% Loss
  2. 3G
  3. DSL
  4. Edge
  5. High Latency DNS
  6. Very Bad Network
  7. WiFi

Apart from the above ones, you can create your profile or duplicate an existing one and edit for your preferences.

Using this, the team played with the network link quality and the made the gaming application to behave differently rather than normal. The network link conditioner made the gaming application to move slowly. This enabled the team to clear the levels of the game without paying much effort to the game. And that was like, “Oh Yeah!! We did it”. The network link conditioner is helpful for various other things as well like “to test the behaviour of the application in extreme bad internet connections”.

How to do it:

Network Link Conditioner can be downloaded from Apple’s developer portal, as a part of the “Additional Tools for Xcode” package for the Xcode 8 or the “Hardware IO Tools for Xcode” package for older versions of Xcode.

After downloading the appropriate package for your version of Xcode, open the DMG and double-click “Network Link Conditioner.prefPane” to install.

You can enable the Network Link Conditioner from its preference pane at the bottom of system preferences.

Enabling Network Link Conditioner on iOS devices:

While the preference pane works good for developing on the simulator, it’s important to test on the actual devices as well. However, as of iOS 6, the Network Link Conditioner is available on the devices themselves.
To enable them, you need to setup your device for development:-

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac.
  2. In Xcode, go to Windows -> Devices.
  3. Select your device in the sidebar.

Now you’ll have access to the Developer section in the Settings of the device, where you’ll find the Network Link Conditioner (don’t forget to turn it off, post you’re done testing).

Hope you find this blog good for you as well as your testing. Good Luck!

Anurag Kumar
Software Engineer, SubcoDevs