Compared to Android, emulation offerings on iOS aren’t as numerous and well-supported even though the hardware of some iOS devices is pretty powerful. However, things seem to be changing as Dolphin may finally be coming to the platform in one way or another!
PR for Experimental Support published

On Sunday, developer OatmealDome published a pull request to Dolphin’s GitHub which would see experimental iOS support in the emulator’s official codebase if accepted.
Want to run Animal Crossing for the GameCube on your iPad? Well, now you can!

This pull request was accompanied by a decent deal of documentation, the main points of which are:

  • The effort behind the pull request was made in order to initiate discussion as to whether iOS is a platform that Dolphin ought to support
  • The build system is based on the Android one with image assets being taken directly from there
  • Currently, the interface is a rudimentary state although touch controls do work.
    • If work on this port goes forward, the interface needs a good deal more work and the codebase will transition to Swift from Objective-C as much as possible

  • The Vulkan backend is used for rendering although an unusable OpenGL one is still provided for now.

It’s important to note that due to the memory requirements of Dolphin, a jailbroken device is effectively required (or modifications to the bootloader) since it needs an entitlement which lets access more memory than Apple allows 3rd party applications to use. This pull request was made possible through the amalgamation of previous pull requests that were denied mostly due to the aforementioned memory issue which is effectively fixed now.

Supported devices include:

  • Apple A9/A9X devices which include the iPhone 6S(+), iPad Pro 1st generation (9.7/12.9”) and iPad 5th generation
  • Apple A10/A10X devices which include the iPhone 7(+), iPad Pro 2nd generation (10.5”/12.9”), iPad 6/7th generation and the iPod Touch 7th generation

    • Dolphin will probably run best on 2nd generation iPad Pros as they have 4GB RAM (other supported devices have 2/3GB) and the best GPU, outperforming even that found in the A11 by a good margin.

  • Apple A11 devices which include the iPhone 8(+) and iPhone X