Saturday, September 18, 2021

Apple removes the DOS emulator from the App Store for iOS | No more retro games?

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Apple is getting rid of the DOS emulator for iOS from the official App Store. The developer of the popular “iDOS 2,” a very popular DOS emulator for the Apple iOS, noted that Apple will reportedly remove the app directly from the App Store for breaking its review guidelines.

According to AndroidHeadlines, the iDOS emulates the DOS system on iOS and has been available since 2014. This lets users play classic games and can use other DOS applications just like word processors.

DOS Emulator on iOS

The app comes complete with its own PC keyboard, gamepad, and even a mouse, which can be operated using Bluetooth accessories. While updates have actually been relatively consistent, the company is threatening to pull the iDOPS 2 directly from the App Store for particularly running afoul of the company’s own guidelines.

Apple noted that the app executes the iDOS package as well as image files which would allow iTunes Files Sharing and File support in order to import games. Executing code could potentially introduce or even change features or functionality of the app and proceed to allow for the downloading of content without the need for licensing.

App Store Review Guideline 2.5.2
The developer Chaoji Li detailed in a blog post that Apple stated that the app does not comply directly with the App Store Review guideline 2.5.2. This would restrict the app from installing or running executable code. The Apple iOS 14.7 is also rolling out with new updates for the iPhone.

iDOS 2 Uses iTunes Files Sharing
It was also noted that while educational apps designed to develop, teach, or allow students to test executable code might, in limited circumstances, download code, such code might not even be used for other purposes and those apps could make the source code completely viewable and even editable by the user themselves.

Li notes that the iDOS 2 uses the iTunes Files Sharing in order to run custom games or programs, a feature that is currently integral to the app’s main identity. Removing the particular integration to conform with Apple’s own request would be a betrayal to already paying customers.

Chaoji Li’s Comments on the App
Li was apparently open when it came to the app’s potential to directly crash with rules regarding the interpreted code. He also included a note along with every app update that points out the use of Document Browser mode as well as the inclusion of iTunes File Sharing. The note reads they are perfectly aware of AppStore policy on the interpreted code. The main reason for the submission is that there are other similar apps on the company App Store that are running on js or python code. In principle, the iDOS is also no different. Apple also rolled out the Safari 14.1.2 update for the MacOS Catalina and Mojave as the company is improving its security.

It was noted that there was no security risk since the user code is directly running inside the emulator within the app sandbox itself. According to AppleInsider, Li’s very first iDOS emulator was also pulled directly before making its way directly back onto the storefront back in 2011.

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  • Apple removes the DOS emulator from the App Store for iOS | No more retro games?
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