Emulators are nothing new for iOS, and we have already covered a PlayStation Pocket emulator for those of you with access to the Cydia store. There are a few Game Boy emulators available in the jailbreak store as well, but on other platforms like Windows Phone 8, you can start using such emulators via proper apps available in the official stores. Apple’s App Store policies are a bit more stringent but now, there is finally a relatively easy way of getting a GBA emulator on any iOS device, even if it is not jailbroken! With GBA4iOS, your iPhone becomes capable of running any Game Boy ROM. The app has some pretty nice controls, lets you change game speed and supports saving up to 128 games states.
- Head to the GBA4iOS GitHub link from your device’s web browser.
- Scroll down the page, and hit the ‘Install App’ button.
- The installation doesn’t require users to do much; you just have to hit the ‘Next’ button on each screen.
- A confirmation notification shows up before the installation begins – just hit ‘Install’ on it.
Once the GBA4iOS web clip has been installed, it doesn’t look any different from other apps. There are no ROMs in the app by default, and you have to download them from Safari, or if you already own some, email them to yourself and then you can open the attachments directly with GBA4iOS. If you want to use Safari to search for ROMs, just hit the looking-glass icon inside the app and it will take you to a Google search page with links to several sources housing GBA ROMs.
From the settings menu inside the emulator, it is possible to toggle auto save, update the app over the air, or choose its scaling aspects (if you are using the emulator on iPad or iPad mini). GBA4iOS sports both GBA and Nintendo Wii controllers, and you can choose between either from the same settings app. While playing games, options like ‘Toggle Speed’ and load/save menus can be brought up by hitting the ‘Menu’ button located on the controller.
GBA4iOS supports both landscape and portrait modes, and you can choose different controllers for each. To give you maximum screen real estate, the portrait mode dims out the controller, making it translucent.
GBA4iOS is completely free, and works with all iOS devices including the iPhone 5. Give it a go if you are feeling a bit nostalgic for some of the Game Boy classics.
Update: That was quick. Apple has revoked the certificate used by this emulator to function properly, so you won’t be able to install GBA4iOS from now on. If you managed to get your hands on the app before Apple took note though, everything remains completely functional.