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The App Store bans a Game Boy emulator, but Apple claims game emulators are OK.

Apple pulled iGBA, an iPhone Game Boy emulator, after authorizing its debut over the weekend. After EU authorities compelled Apple to open up to App Store rivals like AltStore, which offers game emulators and other Patreon-backed applications to iPhone users, the app was among the first to capitalize on Apple’s looser vintage game emulation guidelines.

Initially released on Sunday, iGBA was an ad-supported version of the open-source Game Boy emulator GBA4iOS. Users may download Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Color ROMs from the web and play them in the new software.

Riley Testut, the creator of the AltStore and Delta, a well-known Nintendo emulator and the successor to GBA4iOS, did not approve the software’s posting to the software store.

On Sunday, Testut wrote on Threads that he was unhappy at Apple for approving iGBA when his software Delta, on Apple’s TestFlight, had been ready to publish since March 5. He expressed dissatisfaction with his work being stolen and commercialized.

On Threads, 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 and tracking). Over the last month, I’ve been biting my tongue, which annoys me. HeI joked that App Review protects customers from frauds and rip-offs like these.

Some remarked that the knock-off uses the GBA4iOS code. Others noted that Testut provided the GBA4iOS emulator under a GNU GPL v2 license, which should have allowed copying, but inserted a unique restriction that barred App Store distribution for any product incorporating the code. They claimed that GPL v2 forbade such a limitation

Despite its previous error, Apple agreed with Testut and withdrew the knock-off software for breaking software store spam and copyright regulations (4.3 and 5.2, respectively).

Apple said Eltrys’s functionality was allowed, but when it discovered that it was duplicating another developer’s application and passing it off as its own, it took action according to its standards.

The EU’s Digital Markets Act has forced Apple to open the App Store. Apple decided to enable streaming game shops worldwide after updating its App Store regulations to conform with the new law. This month, however, Apple introduced vintage game emulator compatibility, requiring titles that provide digital downloads to use in-app payments. While it might boost Apple’s income, the iGBA app was free and ad-supported, so removing it didn’t hurt.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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