Retrospecs lets you convert/capture images so that they appear as they would on a variety of home computers and consoles from the 70's, 80's and 90's. It's part camera app, part tribute to the sort of computers I lusted after whilst pouring over copies of Byte magazine as a lad.
For a full list of the current computer and console presets see the updates section.
It's currently only available for iOS (it supports iPhones, iPods and iPads) , but an Android version is planned for 2016. Android version update.View in the App Store
The following images were all generated by Retrospecs. To see the full list of currently "emulated" systems, see the updates section.
Version 1.35 should now be available in the App Store. This was just a quick update to address some behind the scenes bugs. (Nothing exciting I'm afraid, although I also tweaked the list of systems included in the free version.)
The current system presets as of release 1.35 are:
To create a shiny new custom emulation, either hold two fingers down on the preview image in the converter (which should create a *roughly* equivalent custom emulation for you to begin customising) or select the "Custom" system and then tap "Create new emulation" under the mode tab.
The current custom emulation options as of release 1.35 are:
Bit depth palettes:
System character sets:
Custom character sets:
The idea for Retrospecs has been kicking about in my mind for a few years – the concept being part preservation/part tribute to the sort of computer systems I lusted after whilst pouring over handed down copies of Byte magazine as a lad. However, I didn't get around to implementing anything concrete until early February '14 when I roughed out some vague proof of concept algorithms.
At the time I was re-skilling between jobs (the goal being to transition between web and native app development), so I abandoned the other bits I was experimenting with and started focusing full time on the app proper. After several weeks intensive graft, the first conversion engine (the "attribute" engine, created specifically with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in mind) was limping along natively on my trusty iPhone 4.
Fast forwarding a bit, over the following three months I threw myself into expanding the available conversion engines, added a basic user interface and by Saturday the 7th of June 2014 I'd finally submitted the first build to the Apple App Store.
Since then, I've been back in full time work and so Retrospecs has become a strictly weekend affair - adding new engines and emulations and building out the UI to the extent that it's currently roughly how I initially envisaged it. (Apart from a layer of output filters including phosphor and raster effects - they're still to come. Oh, and video. And an Android version. And all that other stuff lurking on the to-do.)
On top of that, I've also spent many snatched hours of an evening completely failing to attract much of a following for the app, usually by failing to convince people to accept a promo code on Twitter. (Sorry about that.)
As I recently phrased it: