Immensely popular iPhone emulator Delta is coming to iPad — turn Apple's tablet into the giant Game Boy you've always wanted

Donkey Kong Country 2 on Delta on iPad
(Image credit: iMore)

The smash-hit Delta emulator for iPhone is getting native support for iPad soon in an upcoming update.

Developer Riley Testut confirmed on both Threads and Mastodon that Delta version 1.6 will be a Universal app, which means that the multi-system emulator will include native iPad support to take advantage of the tablet’s bigger display. This also means you’ll be able to use the Apple Pencil for certain Nintendo DS games that require a stylus.

Apple’s rule change on April 5 allows retro gaming emulators to be made available on the App Store. Because of this, apps like Delta have become a huge hit since the app launched on April 17. It’s constantly in the top app charts, allowing users to play retro games from the past 35 years on their iPhones.

Testut also mentioned that local multiplayer and SEGA Genesis support are both coming to Delta once 1.6 is available. If you’re a Patreon subscriber though, you can play this version right now on your iPad through Alt Store, replete with the aforementioned SEGA Genesis support. He didn’t give a date as to when the update will be available for everyone — although we suspect it won’t be long after Apple’s iPad-focused ‘Let Loose’ event on May 7.

I’ve played Delta on iPad, and it’s as good as you think — iMore’s take

Delta Emulator on iPad playing GoldenEye

(Image credit: Future)

Having been a Patreon subscriber to Alt Store and Delta for a while, I’ve been able to test out version 1.6 and I’ve come away impressed.

It’s essentially the same app but made to fit on Apple’s tablet, with some added benefits. I can use the Magic Keyboard accessory to play my games without using touch controls. Apple Pencil support can also supercharge how I play the Nintendo DS handheld, as the precision of the stylus means that I can easily write and draw on the display in a bunch of games.

SEGA Genesis, the first non-Nintendo system that Delta supports, runs flawlessly. I can play classic games that were exclusive to the 90s console on my iPad, and they run as well as any other game I’ve tried on the app.

I’m sure that Delta 1.6 is going to be a fantastic update for those who use an iPad daily, but I’m also looking forward to what Testut may have in store for the emulator in the future. Perhaps we could see a brand new console arrive, such as the Sony PlayStation, so I’ll be able to play some games that defined a lot of my childhood, on my iPhone and iPad.

More from iMore

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.