Golly is an open source, cross-platform application for exploring Conway's Game of Life and many other types of cellular automata.
Supports bounded and unbounded universes, with cells of up to 256 states.
Supports multiple algorithms, including Bill Gosper's super fast hashlife algorithm.
Many different types of CA are included: John von Neumann's 29-state CA, Wolfram's 1D rules, WireWorld, Generations, Langton's Loops, Larger than Life, etc.
Reads RLE, macrocell, Life 1.05/1.06, dblife, and MCell files.
Can extract patterns and rules from zip files.
Can download patterns and rules from online archives.
Includes a state-of-the-art pattern collection.
Extensive help, with an integrated Life Lexicon.
Supports the Larger than Life family of rules.
Supports non-totalistic rules.
Major update to the Life Lexicon.
Various bug fixes.
Ratings and Reviews
Best GOL (game of life)
To those of you NOT already familiar with Conway's Game of Life, this is not an actual game. It is a simulation of cellular automata. You'll want to do a bit of research before you'll want this app. I suggest running a glider with pencil and graph paper for a few generations, so that you really appreciate this app. :-)
I downloaded a bunch of GOLs, and this is "the one". Infinite universe (no wrapping), amazing zoom/pan, amazing speed, amazing library of patterns, great user interface. I can't think of any improvements that don't involve telepathy.
Best Cellular Automata Program
I've been using Golly on my desktop since 2008. It is, without competition, the best program for discovering and simulating 2D cellular automat. The intuitive yet powerful Rule Table format for defining rules, combined with scripting, make it excellent for finding interesting rules, and the Python scripting combined with Hashlife make discovering and engineering patterns easier than in any other program I have used.
Old program redone well
Golly has been around for a while and comes from a traditional programming tradition long before iPads, Windows 7, and the like.
This is a good implementation for the iPad and has afforded me many hours of fun and learning about Conway's Game of Life. There are other cellular simulations, but Life is the real stuff.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.