MetroSpec, a ZX Spectrum emulator for Windows Phone, has been updated to version 1.4 (since we last looked at the app). We last covered MetroSpec when it was released to the Windows Phone Store, but soon encountered some issues with the submission process. The paid version was published, while the free, ad-supported version was left behind in the depths of app doom.
The problem appeared to be on Microsoft's end, and while a solution or fix was worked on, MetroSpec lost potential users due to the lack of trial or free version available (we know how badly Windows Phone consumers love their app trials). Luckily things have been resolved finally and we're good to go with announcing both apps together.
MetroSpec supports emulation for both 16K and 48K version of the ZX Spectrum, which is accompanied by full sound and three visual quality settings. A handful of titles are bundled with the app, with the ability to import more via SkyDrive or from a web server. Standard .Z80 and .SNA file formats are supported, as well as .TAP and .TZX type formats. To save space, .ZIP, .RAR, .7z, gzip and tar can be used when loading games.
A number of features are supported, including the ability to save states and transfer said files across to different platforms. Version 1.4 of both the paid and free versions of MetroSpec include improvements to further enhance the experience. For a quick visual walkthrough of the app, check out our previous hands-on with the app below.
You can download MetroSpec from the Windows Phone Store for $0.99 (79p), with a free version available. The ad-supported version is limited to a maximum of 3 Save slots (instead of the full 9), maximum of 2 pinned game tiles, as well as the number of games available to import. Note that on older hardware (Focus, Omnia 7, etc.), MetroSpec may not run smoothly (lower FPS), but this can be solved by disabling sound.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
What exactly do you do with this app?
It's a ZX Spectrum emulator, in a simple explanation it enables you to load and enjoy ROMs (game titles). Much like one can do in a SEGA Genesis emulator, etc. MetroSpec allows the user to retro-game while on the move. Added our quick walkthrough video from a while back to the above article, it's a good way to figure out what's going on here.
Brought back memories from the 80's... ZX Spectrum was my first computer.
I went and did the free deal to see how it works, it's really pretty slick So i'll move over to the paid worth having it.
Nice to see the Omnia 7 get a mention for once! Usually it's forgotten about due to its American counterpart.
It sucks. It takes way too long to start the game. Tue controls dot work. Its shiet!
The long loading time is indicative to the original tape loading interface. Unfortunately, the tape loading is emulated to perfection.
And that is why it sucks so much, there is absolutely no reason to do that anymore. So it takes 3 mins, in that time my phone battery heats up and my battery wastes away.
Hi Quin 2013,
Thanks for commenting. I'm the author of MetroSpec, and I'm aware of all the comments regarding the loading speed. I'm working on fast load functionality for tape images, but did you know, and it's mentioned in the help for MetroSpec, that you can load memory snapshot (.Z80 / .SNA files), and they load instantly, with no waiting time.
If you do load tape files e.g. .TAP, .TZX, you do have to wait 3 or 4 minutes for it to load, but only once. Once loaded, tape files become memory snapshots. So any subsequent load of the tape based game will be instantaneous :-)
Whilst I'm working on fast load functionality, I hope that converting the tape to a memory snapshot after the "long" load is ok as a workaround. It took me over 4 months to create MetroSpec, and get it as good as it is. Unfortunately implementing tape support was done in the last 3 - 4 weeks, and I couldn't get fast load functionality in in time.
V1.5 includes integration of World of Spectrum's Sinclair Infoseek database search engine, allow MetroSpec uses to search and display details on over 25,000 titles. Paid for users will be able to download titles direct into MetroSpec's games database
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