This Week's Sponsor:

Listen Later

Listen to Articles as Podcasts

Federico Updates His Setup with the Lenovo Legion Go and More

The sands beneath Federico’s videogame setup have shifted. As he explained on Unwind last week, Federico has gone all-in with the Lenovo Legion Go, a Windows-based handheld that he’s paired with a ONEXGPU eGPU, a fancy fiber optic Thunderbolt cable, a compact GaN charger, and more. As a result of the changes, Federico has also trimmed a handful of devices from his setup.

For the latest, visit the MacStories Setups page to find the full changelog and all the other gear Federico and I are using.


How to Load Your Game Boy Games Onto the iPhone to Play in the Delta Emulator

So, you’ve probably seen the (totally justified) hype surrounding the Delta emulator’s launch on the App Store and downloaded it because, why not, it’s free. You may have also recalled that, like a lot of people, you have a box of old Game Boy cartridges stored somewhere that are gathering dust. Or, like me, maybe you spent way too much money on second-hand videogame sites during the COVID lockdown. Regardless of your Game Boy cartridge origin story, today I’m going to show you a simple way to breathe new life into those games by bringing them, along with your save files, to your iPhone.

The GB Operator. Source: Epilogue.

The GB Operator. Source: Epilogue.

The easiest way I’ve found to pull the game files from a Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance cartridge is with a little USB-C accessory called the GB Operator by Epilogue, or as I like to call it the Game Boy Toaster. That’s because the device looks like a top-loading transparent toaster that takes game cartridges instead of bread. If you have a big collection of game cartridges, the GB Operator is a great investment at $50 because it allows you to both play and back up your games using a Mac.

Read more

Emulators Will Change the App Store Forever

Delta for iOS.

Delta for iOS.

Writing at his personal blog, Brendon Bigley explains why the Delta emulator launching on the App Store is a big deal for retrogaming fans who also love native iOS apps:

AltStore for me (and many) was just a way to get access to Delta, which is the best emulator on iOS by a pretty shocking margin. While there are admittedly more feature-rich apps like RetroArch out there, no other app feels made for iPhone in the way Delta does. With a slick iOS-friendly user interface, custom themes and designs to reskin your experience, and the ability to grab game files from iCloud, Delta always represented what’s possible what a talented app developer could do if the App Store was even slightly more open. It’s in this possibility space where I likely never switch to Android again.

I posted this on Threads and Mastodon, but I was able to start playing old save files from my own copies of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Pokémon Ruby in 30 seconds thanks to Delta.

Years ago, one of my (many) lockdown projects involved ripping my own Game Boy Advance game collection using a GB Operator. I did that and saved all my games and associated save files in iCloud Drive, thinking they’d be useful someday. Today, because Delta is a great iOS citizen that integrates with the Files picker, I just had to select multiple .gba files in iCloud Drive to add them to Delta. Then, since Delta also supports context menus, I long-pressed each game to import my own save files, previously ripped by the GB Operator. And that’s how I can now continue playing games from 20 years ago…on my iPhone. And those are just two aspects of the all-encompassing Delta experience, which includes Dropbox sync, controller support, haptic feedback, and lots more.

Brendon also wraps up the story with a question I’m pondering myself:

How does Nintendo react to the news that despite their desire to fight game preservation at all costs, people are nonetheless still enjoying the very games that built their business in the first place?

I’ll never get over the fact that Nintendo turned the glorious Virtual Console into a subscription service that is randomly updated and not available on mobile devices at all. I’m curious to see if Nintendo will have any sort of response to emulators on iOS; personally, I know that Delta is going to be my new default for all Game Boy/DS emulation needs going forward.


Magic Rays of Light: Argylle and TV Tracking with Jonathan Reed

This week on Magic Rays of Light, Devon is joined by MacStories Community Manager Jonathan Reed to highlight Argylle, discuss Jonathan’s approach to tracking TV and films, and look ahead to an exciting summer of Apple Originals.

Show Notes

Send us a voice message all week via iMessage or email to

Sigmund Judge | Follow Sigmund on X, Mastodon, or Threads

Devon Dundee | Follow Devon on Mastodon or Threads

Join Club MacStories.

View our Apple TV release calendar on the web.

Subscribe to our Apple TV release calendar.

Read more

The Delta Videogame Emulator Launches on the App Store

Delta, the videogame emulator for a long list of Nintendo systems, is now available worldwide. In the US and many other countries, you’ll find it in Apple’s App Store, while in the EU, it is part of the AltStore alternative marketplace.

I’ve been using Delta for years. The app was available using a clever system that took advantage of an Apple Mail plugin and developer account to allow it to be side-loaded onto iPhones. It wasn’t the most convenient way to use the app, but it worked, and legions of classic videogame aficionados flocked to it for its excellent performance and design.

Today, however, anyone can download Delta from the App Store for free, load their game files, and play their favorite NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, SNES, N64, and Nintendo DS games on the iPhone. Delta has been in development for years, so the experience of playing your old games on it is superb, incorporating native features like haptic feedback and quality-of-life enhancements like the ability to save a game’s state, fast forward, and use cheat codes. Delta also supports controller skins, local multiplayer, and syncing of save state, save data, and more.

Delta is the Nintendo emulation standard bearer on iOS. I expect we’ll see other emulators that work with the same games, as we did briefly last week, but Delta is going to be a tough app to beat.

AltStore Is Now Available in the EU

It’s been ready for a while, but today, AltStore is finally available for iOS users in the EU.

Riley Testus, one of AltStore’s founders, had this to say about the launch:

This is a day I’ve been looking forward to for over 10 years.

I’m thrilled to announce a brand new version of AltStore — AltStore PAL — is launching TODAY as an Apple-approved alternative app marketplace in the EU. AltStore PAL is an open-source app store made specifically for independent developers, designed to address the problems I and so many others have had with the App Store over the years. Basically, if you’ve ever experienced issues with App Review, this is for you!

We’re launching with 2 apps initially: my all-in-one Nintendo emulator Delta — a.k.a. the reason I built AltStore in the first place — and my clipboard manager Clip, a real clipboard manager that can actually run in the background. Delta will be FREE (with no ads!), whereas Clip will require a small donation of €1 or more. Once we’re sure everything is running smoothly we’ll then open the doors to third-party apps — so if you’d like to distribute your app with AltStore, please get in touch.

AltStore is a self-hosted solution, meaning once it starts accepting third-party apps, those developers will have to host and promote their apps themselves. From a user’s standpoint, that means:

…there is no central directory of apps; the only apps you’ll see in AltStore are from sources you’ve explicitly added yourself.

Also, if you’re in the EU and have US and EU Apple IDs, sign into the EU one and download AltStore. Then, you’ll be able to log back in with your US Apple ID if you want, and AltStore will still work.

As Riley explains, this is a lot like Apple’s recently announced web distribution feature in the EU.

Thanks to Federico, we have screenshots.

Thanks to Federico, we have screenshots.

The AltStore team envisions their marketplace as a place for apps from indie developers and those that Apple won’t allow on the App Store, like the team’s Clip app. AltStore will use Patreon donations as its payment system for paid apps, just like AltStore and Delta have been doing for years. Also, AltStore will not take a commission on Patreon donations. However, AltStore will cost €1.50/year to cover Apple’s Core Technology Fee.

It’s exciting to see AltStore live in the EU. I wish it were available in the US too, and I recommend reading Riley’s blog post about what motivated him build AltStore. It’s about more than videogame emulators, which I love. That’s maybe where AltStore started, but it’s about the iOS indie developer community, which I love even more.

Ruminate, Episode 182 – Straight to the Eggplant and Peach

This week on Ruminate, I explore more pickle snacks, Robb bought a new keyboard, and I grill Robb on what exactly EchoFeed is.

Krinkle Cut Dill Pickle - Kettle Brand

Join Club MacStories

Using the 8BitDo Keyboard on MacOS • Robb Knight

8BitDo Ultimate Controller with Charging Dock(Bluetooth) | 8BitDo

Keystone Artisan Keycap for Mechanical Keyboard Question Mark Anime Theme Yellow Color Zinc Aluminum Alloy Metal Customize - AliExpress

DropScout | Save Money on Amazon with Price Alerts!


Read more

Soulver 3 for iOS: Acqualia Software’s Unique Approach to Calculations Lands on the iPhone

Five years ago, Soulver 3, the sheet-based app that serves as a notepad for calculations, launched on the Mac with a long list of new features. In the years since, Acqualia Software launched an iPadOS version of the app and, today, an iOS version.

As I said in my review of the Mac app:

The strength of Soulver lies in its flexibility. Full-fledged spreadsheet apps like Numbers and Excel have their place. However, day-to-day life requires calculations that don’t demand that level of horsepower and benefit from contextualizing numbers with text. It’s the kind of math that happens in notebooks and on the back of envelopes. By combining elements of a text editor, spreadsheet, and plain English syntax, Soulver commits those easily-lost notebook scribblings to a format that allows for greater experimentation and easier sharing.

That’s as true of the iPhone version of Soulver as it was of the app’s other versions, perhaps more so. That’s because many people are more likely to have their iPhone with them than a Mac. With Soulver on iOS for the first time in a long time, it’s easier than ever to explore numerical ‘what-ifs.’ For example, what would my payment be if I refinanced my mortgage? How close am I to spending my budget for that party I’m planning? The possibilities go on and on.

Read more

AppStories, Episode 379 – A Classic Mac Pick 2

This week on AppStories, we return with a classic Pick 2 episode focused on the Mac.

Sponsored by:

  • Jam: Developer-friendly bug reports in 1 click.
  • Notion: Start turning ideas into action. Try it free today.
  • Tailscale: Secure remote access to shared resources. Sign up today.

A Classic Mac Pick 2

On AppStories+, we talk about Apple’s decision to allow game emulators and game streaming services on the iPhone worldwide.

We deliver AppStories+ to subscribers with bonus content, ad-free, and at a high bitrate early every week.

To learn more about the benefits included with an AppStories+ subscription, visit our Plans page, or read the AppStories+ FAQ.

Read more