Even though the emulation community mainly focuses on Android Emulators users still showcase a significant interest in iOS Emulators. Since iOS is a closed operating system we don’t really have many great iPhone emulators out there.
Well, things can soon completely change with a new high-level iOS emulator touchHLE. The primary objective of touchHLE will be to run old iOS games from the iPhone OS 2.x era on modern operating systems like Windows 11.
The emulator is a passion project and it’s being developed by a single developer who started the project last year in December 2022.
touchHLE will be based on on a “high-level emulator” design: the program’s simulated CPU only runs the code from an app binary and some needed iOS libraries. touchHLE takes the place of iOS, the developers explain, providing its own implementations of the system framework components like Foundation, UIKit, OpenGL ES, OpenAL, etc.
At the time of writing this article, the emulator is in a very early development stage and it doesn’t even support touch controls. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even has a GUI and it relies on mouse+keyboard or joypad controls alone.
However, the first-ever release of touchHLE can be installed on any modern x86-64/x64 version of Windows and macOS. Furthermore, Super Monkey Ball is the only unencrypted game that’s presently supported by the emulator.
That said, the game runs flawlessly and offers a 30 fps frame rate coupled with working graphics, sound effects, and music, save game persistence on any modern hardware.
Clearly, the project has a great future ahead, and if you want to download and try out the emulator then feel free to check out the GitHub repository of touchHLE.