Developer Hacks Apple Watch to Run Game Boy Emulator

Developer Gabriel O’Flaherty-Chan recently shared a project where he managed to get a Game Boy emulator he dubbed “Giovanni” running on the second-generation Apple Watch, allowing it to play Game Boy and Game Boy Color games.

According to O’Flaherty-Chan, it was a challenge finding the right balance “between framerate and performance,” but he says the end result is a “surprisingly usable emulator.” In GIFs shared in a blog post, the Apple Watch is displayed running Pokémon Yellow.



The Giovanni emulator, named after the villain in Pokémon Yellow, was built using open source code from Gambatte, an existing iOS emulator. It uses the Digital Crown and gestures for control purposes.

By allowing the user to pan on screen for directions, rotate the Digital Crown for up and down, and tap the screen for A, I was able to eliminate buttons until I was left with Select, Start, and B.

Touching the screen for movement isn’t a great interaction, but being able to use the Crown worked out a lot better than originally anticipated. Scrolling through a list of options is basically what the Crown was made for, and if the framerate was even slightly higher, the interaction could almost be better than a hardware D-pad.

As Ars Technica points out, Giovanni is not something you should expect to see in the App Store — it’s more of a proof of concept than anything else. Apple does not allow emulators on the App Store, and O’Flaherty-Chan himself says it is afflicted with bugs due to the “constraints of watchOS,” including the lack of support for OpenGL and Metal.

The Giovanni source code is, however, available on Github for anyone to download, and the blog post behind the creation of Giovanni is worth reading for anyone interested in the development process.

Tags: hack, emulator

Discuss this article in our forums

Simple dietary supplement may help block postpartum blues

Postpartum blues are a common and healthy range of sadness that tends to peak five days after giving birth. But those blues are also a high-risk state for postpartum depression, which is the most common childbearing complication in the US. A recent paper in PNAS shows that dietary supplements intended to combat physiological changes that occur after giving birth are effective in reducing the sadness associated with postpartum blues. This dietary supplement reduced postpartum sadness and effectively cut the risk of postpartum depression.

For psychiatrists, postpartum blues are considered the “prodrome” for postpartum depression. That means that increased postpartum blues signal the likely onset of postpartum depression. If the severity of the postpartum blues could be reduced, then the likelihood of developing depression should also be reduced.

Postpartum blues are thought to be driven by hormonal changes. After giving birth, women experience a severe drop in estrogen and progesterone levels, and these declines are thought to be associated with depressive symptoms. Postpartum depression is also associated with changes in brain chemicals, including an elevation in the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A), which helps the brain regulate neurotransmitter activity.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Twitter launching Live video API tomorrow

 Twitter is about to make it much easier for media publishers to post live video broadcasts with the launch of a live video API tomorrow morning. The API will let companies hook up professional broadcasting and video editing equipment to Twitter with more powerful integrations than Twitter’s existing Periscope Producer feature.
The forthcoming API was first reported last week by The… Read More

Walmart Launches Tech Incubator Store No. 8

Retailers have been advised to act like a start up and now the largest retailer in the world is doing more than that. Walmart has created an incubator to internally nurture start up businesses called Store No. 8.

This Brooklyn Couple Went From Selling Sheets From Their Apartment to Raising $10 Million

Relying heavily on sharing economy services and outsourcing, the Brooklyn couple behind the stylish sheet purveyor Brooklinen scaled their business to the point it attracted $10 million in venture capital.