There's clearly a market for emulators on iOS, according to Riley Testut, the developer behind GBA4iOS, who had achieved over 25 million downloads for the app before it was made defunct with the release of iOS 8.1. Now he's following it up with Delta, a forthcoming emulator able to play titles released for the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Super Nintendo, and Nintendo 64.
Delta Emulator For iOS
Apple has generally been cold toward emulators on its own app store since these apps' very nature links strongly to piracy, which violates Apple's review policies. GBA4iOS averted Apple's scrutiny by virtue of a "date trick," allowing users to download it without going to the App Store. With the arrival of iOS 8.1, however, the date trick loophole ceased, effectively rendering GBA4iOS unusable.
Two years later, Testut is back with a sequel, and it's more ambitious than its predecessor.
"GBA4iOS is finally, truly, dead," he wrote in a blog post. "And it feels great to say that."
Shortly after the yanking of GBA4iOS, Testut mulled over what to develop next, and in 2015, he eventually wrote the first code of what would be Delta.
Delta is in many ways similar to its predecessor, but with a widened scope. Not only will it be able to play a number of emulated titles across Nintendo platforms, but more systems will be also added later on, truly making for a catch-all omnibus emulation app. Best of all, it won't require users to jailbreak their devices in order to run it, like its predecessor.
Delta Beta Program
The Delta won't be released to the public until early 2017, though Testut opened up a still-ongoing beta program for those who want to try the app beforehand. BGR had successfully enrolled in it, publishing a few impressions of the app on its site.
At the time of writing, only Super Nintendo and Game Boy titles were available to play, but the quality of the emulation, according to BGR, is the best one seen on an iPhone. Adding ROMs (game files) is simple, though BGR notes that GBA4iOS offered a tad more options than Delta, but this could change moving forward.
Testut opened up the beta program for virtually anyone interested in joining, but he will still administer a selection process. Creatives may improve their chances of entering the beta test if they submit original Delta artwork.
Expect more coverage once Testut appends Delta with more features or if it steps out of its beta state sometime in 2017.
Over 25 million downloads for app that required redoing the date trick for every reset spells more than interest for emulation. It suggests necessity, but there's no telling how long Apple will allow Delta to roam its App Store sans any objections. As past occurrences prove, it would probably frown at Testut's app, and we all know what might happen next.
What do you think of Delta? Do emulators for mobile devices interest you in general? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!