Thanks for your input.
You are right, the built-in AppBuilder simulator does not provide a support for custom Cordova plugins. The functionality included majority of the Cordova API plugins is mocked up in the simulator implementation. Thus in the simulator you can open a library of images, open a file, rotate the device orientation, simulate geolocation and network information.
Because the Facebook plugin is essentially a custom plugin that provides a functionality that relies on the native Facebook SDKs for the given platform, it is not available in the simulator. Basically this version of the plugin
available in the Telerik Marketplace is modified to be easily used within an AppBuilder project, to be able to build it with the AppBuilder build services and ultimately, provide a native Facebook integration in your mobile app.
Given that we always recommend testing on real devices your app as the most correct way to test your app during its development lifecycle, there is a LiveSync
feature – you do not have to redeploy the app every time, unless you have made some project-critical changes that cannot be LiveSynced (refer to the link above for a list of them). Debugging on device
and using the native emulators
expand further the options available to your testing process.
Let me know if you have further suggestions or considerations.
Edit - I edited the styles (font color) of the post.