Here's why Apple yanked a Game Boy emulator from the App Store just hours after allowing it in

Apple removed the iGBA Game Boy emulator from the iPhone App Store just hours after it was allowed in it in, and now it's explained why.

1 minute & 44 seconds read time

After years of preventing developers from releasing apps that emulate games from other devices into the iPhone's App Store, Apple made the decision earlier this month to change that stance. Now, such emulators are allowed into the App Store for the first time and developers are already starting to get their previously-banned apps ready. One popped up in the App Store yesterday, but just a few short hours later, it was gone. Nobody knew for sure why that happened, but Apple has now confirmed how things went down and why the app is no longer available for download.

According to a 9to5Mac report, Apple has clarified its decision, saying that the iGBA app violated two specific App Store guidelines: the copyright section 5.2 and spam section 4.3. MacRumors was also able to confirm that Apple did not disapprove of the iGBA app's functionality, suggesting that a similar app will be allowed into the App Store in the future.

Where the iGBA app fell foul of Apple's rules was the fact that it was an ad-filled clone of a popular open source project called GBA4iOS, an app that has been available for jailbroken iPhones. That app is also going to be available via an alternative app store in the EU soon enough, but this version wasn't the same app - it just looked and behaved like it.

This app was however full of ads which seems to have caused it to fall foul of the spam section of Apple's App Store guidelines. The fact the app was a copy of the GBA4iOS app is also likely why Appl'es copyright rules came into play, too.

This is good news for other game emulator app developers because it means that their apps will indeed be allowed into the App Store as we expected following the recent rule change. So long as those apps are not clones of others, there should be no issue moving forward.

Apple has been making a ton of changes to the App Store and the way the iPhone works in recent weeks as a result of the European Union's Digital Markets Act and the requirements that are placed on it. While those changes only apply in the EU, this game emulator tweak is a global situation which is good news for fans of classic gaming in all corners of the world.

Now all eyes will be on the App Store to see what the next game emulator looks like and whether it will be able to stay available for more than a few hours.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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