The App Store Allowed an iPhone Game Boy Emulator for the First Time. Now It’s Gone

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A few weeks ago Apple announced that it would allow emulators in the App Store. It was great news for fans of old or classic video games like Pokemon or Mario Kart. Just a few days later, the first emulator became available for download. Now Apple has removed it from the App Store.

iGBA was the first and most popular emulator available on the App Store. Many users downloaded it, but didn’t realize it was a copycat. This app was based on developer Riley Testut’s open source app “GBA4iOS”. This one is quite popular and well known in the emulator world.

The actual developer of the emulator had not uploaded or authorized the App Store version, and it was also full of ads. As a result, Apple has finally decided to remove it under the App Review Guidelines on spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2). Furthermore, Testut (the developer behind GBA4iOS) explained that:

“So apparently Apple approved a knock-off of GBA4iOS. 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). So glad App Review exists to protect consumers from scams and rip-offs like this.”

Emulators are coming to stay in the App Store. At least that’s what Apple says. However, they have to respect the guidelines. It may take a few more days before we can download a real emulator on our iPhone (and without it being full of ads), but we are sure that the time will come soon. Maybe we hear more about this at Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 10.


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