Home Gaming Apple Boots the First Emulator to Launch on the App Store in a Decade – CNET

Apple Boots the First Emulator to Launch on the App Store in a Decade – CNET

by news

Apple says the app was banned because it was a knockoff, and the developer of the original app is more upset with the company than the copycat developer.
The last emulator to launch on iOS was back in 2014. Now that the gates are open, it turns out there are still some rules to follow. 
It took only about a decade, but Apple finally relaxed the App Store rules regarding retro game console emulators. Comically, the first Apple-approved emulator to launch under the relaxed rules, called iGBA, was banned by Apple just days after its launch due to copyright infringement. 
The emulator, iGBA, was a knockoff of GBA4iOS, an open-source Game Boy Advance emulator for iOS that the developer created over 10 years ago. Since it was the only emulator available on the App Store during its short reign, it quickly rose to the top of the App Store charts following the news that emulators were back in town. 
Representatives for Apple didn't immediately respond for a request for comment.
GBA4iOS creator Riley Testut spotted the copy and wrote about the experience on Threads
"So apparently Apple approved a knock-off of GBA4iOS — the predecessor to Delta I made in high school — in the App Store," Testut wrote. "I did not give anyone permission to do this, yet it's now sitting at the top of the charts (despite being filled with ads + tracking)."
Testut would go on to say he was frustrated not with the developer but with Apple for allowing an obvious clone when his own Delta emulator, the successor to GBA4iOS, had been in TestFlight, Apple's beta testing platform for iOS apps, for over a year. It also wasn't difficult for developers to tell it was a phony. Mastodon user and iOS developer Jesús A. Álvarez showed that the code was virtually identical to GBA4iOS but with the licenses removed and advertising added, which is a violation of the GNU General Public License. 
Apple confirmed that it removed iGBA from the App Store on Sunday for violating two Apple rules regarding spam (section 4.3) and intellectual property (section 5.2). 
Testut told CNET he had no further comment.
The drama comes amid Testut's efforts to release AltStore, a third-party iOS app store for users in the EU. His Game Boy Advance emulator, Delta, is set to be the store's flagship app. 
"I've been working with Apple to release AltStore as an alternative app marketplace for over a month now, and I'm disappointed to see that they've approved a knockoff of AltStore's flagship app Delta in that time," Testut told The Verge. "However, we're still planning to launch Delta ASAP, and we'll have more to share on that very soon."
The developer of iGBA, La Spina, also told The Verge that it "did not think the app would have so much repercussion" and apologized to Testut. 
The Apple App Store is undergoing a lot of changes lately. The EU's Digital Markets Act is forcing Apple to allow third-party app stores, which is causing Apple to work overtime to ensure the platform remains secure. In addition, a US Department of Justice lawsuit is accusing Apple of stifling competition and violating antitrust laws in the name of security. In the lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges that Apple's control over its platform prevents companies from doing things like launching competitor smartwatches or digital wallets on Apple's platform. 


Related Posts