Apple removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA from the App Store for being a copycat

by Danny Craig  · 
Apple removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA from the App Store for being a copycat

Apple has already removed the first Game Boy Advance emulator from its App Store, just days after allowing emulators on the platform, after discovering that iGBA was a knockoff of the open-source GBA4iOS.

The details:

  • Apple announced in early April that emulators were now welcome on the App Store, lifting a long-standing ban. Developers must still ensure that their apps do not violate copyright laws, but companies can also sell their own games directly through the emulator.

  • Shortly after the ban was lifted, iGBA, a Game Boy Advance emulator, became available on the App Store. It was quickly discovered that it was nothing more than a reskinned and ad-supported version of Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS emulator, with the app's files also referencing the original emulator.

  • This quickly caught the attention of Testut, who expressed his frustration with Apple for approving the app, with Delta, the successor to GBA4iOS, currently in the company's Testpilot program alongside the Altstore. “So apparently Apple approved a knock-off of GBA4iOS — the predecessor to Delta I made in high school — in the App Store,” the developer said. “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)”.

  • iGBA has since been removed for violating App Store policies, according to MacRumors, and Apple has reportedly confirmed that it was delisted for being a knockoff rather than piracy concerns. According to the news outlet, an Apple spokesperson also stated that ROMs downloaded from the internet can be used for emulation, but only if the app is "emulating retro console games only.”

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