Welcome to a taste of early 1980s home computing.

This app focuses on the Sinclair ZX81 experience and is loaded with example software. Please note that the system is completely self contained and this means you cannot remotely add code, more games etc.


In 1980 the British company Science of Cambridge (later renamed Sinclair Research) released the Sinclair ZX80 home computer. The computer was developed with another technology company, Nine Tiles, and manufactured in a Timex Corporation factory in Dundee, Scotland. Followed in March 1981 by the even more popular successor, the Sinclair ZX81, both models had a profound impact on home and hobbyist computing in the UK and many other countries. Timex Corporation and Sinclair Research continued their joint venture and released the Timex Sinclair 1000 (TS1000) and 1500 (TS1500) variants of the ZX81 for the US market in July 1982 and July 1983 respectively.

Meanwhile, another iconic British home computer, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, was under development and hit the market in April 1982... but that's another story.

Special thanks to Nine Tiles for granting permission to include the ROM code, to which they retain the intellectual property rights after all these years.

Additionally, many thanks to all the developers of the loaded ZX81 software who have all granted permission to include their titles in the app. We hope this list of software will continue to grow in future updates.

What’s New

Version 1.5.2

• Fixed Bug where the gamepad directional keys became disabled after turning off the ZXpand joystick support
• Improvements to reflect the shadow RAM and ROM in the upper memory addresses (thanks to Sir Morris and Paul Farrow)
• Improvements to ZX80 settings to return more realistic values at nonexistent memory addresses and port locations (thanks to Paul Farrow and Rob Houghton)
• 8-16K address range enable setting
• User Definable Graphics (UDG) support setting
• Sir Morris’ game: ZE DRAGON II (ZON sound and UDG)
• Fred Nachbaur’s game: Dungeon of Ymir
• Gregory Harder’s expansion pack versions of Dungeon of Ymir
• Dr Beep’s games: Weedkiller, Dodgems, Highway
• Manuel Fraguas’ game: Columbia (UDG)
• Bukster Games: BerZXerk (ZX81 Berzerk)

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
13 Ratings
13 Ratings
tournesol67 ,

Hits it out of the park

I had a ZX81 as a teenager and was eagerly awaiting an iOS emulator. This one hits it out of the park. The emulation is perfect and includes support for hires graphics and sound extensions. As other reviewers wrote, the user interface actually improves the usability of the original machine. Just as important, the app developer seems to have brought together the community of old ZX81 software developers who have contributed (and continue to contribute) a good number of classic programs from the good old days. Hats off to the developer. This is a true labor of love and it keeps getting better!

Developer Response ,

Thank you for sparing the time to write such a warm review! And hats off to the ZX81 community for their continued interest and support for this app.

atari400 ,

zx 81 emulator

Love this emulator. Next best thing to having an actual Sinclair machine. In someways better. Tons of software on hand. Thank you.

Developer Response ,

Thank you for the positive review! In addition to new features, yet more software will continue to be added with each new release (plus at some point a search control to filter its ever growing list of programs).

therutabega ,


I can't believe the quality and care this app's creator put into it. This doesn't just memorialize the ZX81 -- which I bought and built in 1981, amazing memory -- it actually improves it. This thing is more usable in my phone than the old Z ever was in person hooked up to my portable black and white TV.

Respect and appreciation to the maker. You are an artist, this is just lovely.

Developer Response ,

Thank you so much for the kind words in your review. Hope you enjoy the improvements in the more recent versions. Respect from this developer too for the love in the ZX80/81 users’ community and the permissions that have been granted for this app to be possible. Standing on the shoulders of giants.


Kevin Palser
35.5 MB

Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad (5th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (5th generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular (2nd generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular, iPad (6th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (6th generation), iPad Pro (11-inch), iPad Pro (11-inch) Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (3rd generation), iPad Pro (12.9-inch) (3rd generation) Wi-Fi + Cellular, and iPod touch.


English, German, Portuguese, Russian

Age Rating
Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
© 2018 Palser
In-App Purchases
  1. FORTY NINER $0.99
  2. ROCKET MAN $0.99
  3. BOOSTER $0.99


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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