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Stellerator on iOS: Touch, offline and homescreen


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#1 DirtyHairy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:30 PM

After getting a shiny new iPad, I have made some improvements in 6502.ts/Stellerator that finally make it useful as a VCS emulator on iOS. All modern (64bit) iOS devices seem to be fast enough to run the emulator at full speed, including CDF and DPC+ emulation :)

 

The touch controls (including fullscreen mode) are explained on the help page (or on the forum here. The page can be opened without an internet connection after it has loaded for the first time. As a side effect of this, new changes to Stellerator might need several reloads in order to be picked up --- Stellerator now shows a notification if it has been reloaded and there have been changes upstream.

 

If you run the emulator in the browser, the browser toolbar will remain on screen. As an alternative, you can add the page to your home screen:

 

IMG_0017.jpg

 

The result will be a Stellerator icon on your homescreen:

 

IMG_0015.jpg

 

You can use this icon to launch the emulator just like it was an app, and the browser toolbar will be hidden in this mode.

 

Known issues and quirks:

  • Audio will start playing only after the display has bee touched for the first time. This is a restriction of Safari mobile.

  • Bluetooth keyboards do not work as an input source --- the emulator can be only controlled by touch. Again, this is a limitation of Safari mobile.

  • If launched from the homescreen, iOS will terminate the page if it moves to the background and reloads it if it is reopened

  • Rotating the device while in fullscreen can sometimes have quirky results

IMG_0011.PNG


Edited by DirtyHairy, Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:31 PM.


#2 groundtrooper OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:40 PM

Is this available in the US store? I have searched on my iPad yet only my phone but I couldn't find it. 



#3 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:13 PM

Is this available in the US store? I have searched on my iPad yet only my phone but I couldn't find it. 


It's a web app, follow the instructions above to add the shortcut to your home screen. No App Store download needed.

It's pretty cool!

#4 DirtyHairy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:31 AM

Is this available in the US store? I have searched on my iPad yet only my phone but I couldn't find it. 

 

 

As FlojoMojo said :) The link is in my signature. I have thought about packaging the emulator as a hybrid app and publishing it, but afaik Apple does not allow emulators into the Appstore.



#5 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:42 AM

Apple does not allow emulators into the Appstore.


I'm not sure of all the rules but they are allowed, I think they're just not allowed to load arbitrary ROMs. I used to run a C64 emulator that had a number of games available as in-app purchases.  Sadly they stopped maintaining it, and it no longer runs on current versions of iOS.



#6 groundtrooper OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:56 PM

I'm not sure of all the rules but they are allowed, I think they're just not allowed to load arbitrary ROMs. I used to run a C64 emulator that had a number of games available as in-app purchases.  Sadly they stopped maintaining it, and it no longer runs on current versions of iOS.

 

 

Ya I just gave up my Jail Break because I got an Apple watch. I was running iOS 9 and I lost a ton of regular apps that Apple no longer allows because they haven't been updated. 

 

I had an "Mame" emulator the slipped through Apples fingers and was in the App store for a couple of days before the pulled it. I can't remember the name of it now. It was disguised as something else but you could load mame roms on it. 

 

I was briefly skimming this topic and didn't dig deep to notice it was a web app. Thanks I will give it a try. 



#7 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:56 PM

I think you'll find that keeping iOS current is worth more than the jailbreak in terms of features, reliability, etc. I certainly feel that way. If you really really really "need" MAME on your touchscreen, I guess you could flip ten bucks to www.iemulators.com ... I used to do that, but have learned to live without it, as I have a zillion other ways to play old games.



#8 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 8, 2018 10:49 PM

The stand-alone way on iOS 11.3.1 keeps running even after quitting it. 

Makes my iPhone 7 plus very hot. 

 

The web browser shortcut, which looks exactly the same, does end when you close the browser tab. 

That way works. 



#9 DirtyHairy OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2018 1:41 AM

The stand-alone way on iOS 11.3.1 keeps running even after quitting it. 

Makes my iPhone 7 plus very hot. 

 

 

That has happened to me once, too — the emulation kept running in the background (including sound), and I had to reboot to stop it. That‘s an iOS bug, the system should (and usually does) kill the browser context when the „app“ quits. I can do nothing to fix this, but I have only encountered the issue once.

 

I should add hat I am currently on iOS 11.4.1. I definitely encountered the bug on an older version, so maybe it has been fixed.

 

The web browser shortcut, which looks exactly the same, does end when you close the browser tab. 

That way works. 

 

The only difference between the two is the browser toolbar: it is not viisible in he homescreen app, so you get the whole screen for the emulator.


Edited by DirtyHairy, Thu Aug 9, 2018 1:45 AM.


#10 DirtyHairy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:26 AM

Darn, just happened to me again :) So, not fixed in current iOS. However, I have done a bit of research, and there is a fullscreen browser called Frameless on the appstore that runs fullscreen without UI and that can be simply killed to stop the emulator. Added value: the emulator is not killed automatically when it goes into background, so you can actually play *and* multitask :P

However, you should adjust the settings before use, especially the shake to reload feature otherwise, a involuntary movement might destroy your highscore.


Edited by DirtyHairy, Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:27 AM.


#11 DirtyHairy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:19 AM

I just made an interesting observation: in the current version of iOS 12.2., Apple has changed the behavior of webapps that have been added to the homescreen: you can now put launch Stellerator from the homescreen, put it into the background and resume it later where you left off — just as with a real app.




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