Automating iOS Simulator Screenshots With Pretty Good Status Bars Using Xcode 11 / by Paulo Fierro

Yesterday I discovered a new command line tool (which ships with Xcode 11) that can clean up iOS Simulator status bars. It works great, but I have automated taking app screenshots using Fastlane and Snapshot — if you haven't you should check it out as its a massive time saver.

Unfortunately there is currently a bug where Snapshot apparently overrides or undoes the status bar change — there is however work underway to add support for this new feature.

Until then, I've come up with what I believe is a clumsy but acceptable workaround. 🤓

I don't want to take screenshots manually. After having used Snapshot for so many years now that seems like going back to the stone age and I already have my lovely UI tests in place to take the screenshots of exactly what I want.

Avoid Town isn't localized at the moment, so its only a case of taking screenshots at two locations on:

  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone Xs
  • iPhone Xs Max
  • iPad
  • iPad Pro (3rd gen)

That's 2 screenshots for each devices, so 2 * 7 = 14 screenshots. And then I want to take the same screenshot but in dark mode so 28 screenshots in total.

If there were more languages supported that would be 28 per language and you can see that this quickly becomes untenable. So I am going to continue to use Snapshot.

My workaround is as follows, in one Terminal I run fastlane snapshot as normal.

However in a second Terminal I run the following:

while sleep 1; 
do xcrun simctl status_bar 'iPhone SE' override --time '9:41' --dataNetwork 'wifi' --batteryState 'charged' --cellularMode 'notSupported' --wifiMode 'active' --wifiBars 3; 

Basically I override the status bar on a particular device every second 😱. This ensures that it also happens while Snapshot is running.

Yep, I know its gross 🤢. And it also means I have to take snapshots of one device at a time. Then I have to stop the script, change the name of the device, and run Snapshot again for that device. Like an animal.

You could of course modify all the Simulators you're targetting in your Snapfile by adding multiple do lines to the while block above, but I did them one by one to verify that the process worked.

The upside is that its mostly automated and because I only have to do it 7 times (for this release) I can live with it. My hope is that by the time I have to do this again the Snapshot issues linked to above will be fixed 🤞

Below is an example of the output created by Snapshot.

Screenshots exported via Snapshot

Screenshots exported via Snapshot