Every so often I get an attack of nostalgia for the early days of personal computing. The latest bout was triggered by the discovery of an app called Retrospecs, an iOS-based image processing app that transforms photos to use the colour palettes of 8- and 16-bit computers.
The latest release – v1.7 – supports the following emulations:
- Apple ][ (Low res)
- Atari 2600 (NTSC)
- IBM CGA (6 variations)
- BBC Micro (Mode 1 & 2)
- Sinclair ZX Spectrum
- Commodore 64 (Low res & high res modes)
- Dragon 32 (PMODE 3)
- Thomson TO7
- MSX (Screen mode 2 and (for comedy value) 3)
- Sinclair QL (Low res & high res modes)
- Apple Macintosh (Original 1984 model)
- Thomson MO5
- Amstrad CPC (Colour & green screen versions)
- Commodore C16/+4 (Low res & high res modes)
- IBM EGA
- Commodore Amiga (OCS - 320x256 in 32 colours and 640x256 in 16 colours)
- Atari ST (320x200 in 16 colours and 640x200 in 4 colours)
- Sega Master System
- IBM VGA (Mode 13h)
- Sega Mega Drive
- Nintendo Game Boy
- Amstrad 464/6128 plus
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System
You can also apply filters and tweak the dithering to get better results – very handy if the image is dark and needs a vibrancy boost (this is especially important if choosing one of the more gaudy colour palettes).
I’ve just upgraded to the latest release on my iPad 2 (the only iOS device I own) and took the new modes for a spin. Here’s a GIF of the whole set being applied to a fairly boring photo of my neighbour’s house. [Click the image for the full-size, 3MB version where you can read the names of the various modes.]
This app is really fun: a great way to create retro images for profile pics or greeting cards.
It’s also a real bargain, weighing in at just $0.99 in the US store. In a special pre-holidays giveaway, the first 10 people to post a comment on this blog post will receive a promo code to install it for free! Many thanks to @8bitartwork for offering these for this blog’s readers.