Apple Is Killing Emulators On iPhones

You may not have been aware of this, but recent versions of iOS actually had a loophole that allowed industrious folks to use emulators on iPhones and iPads without jailbreaking the device. Cool, huh? It won't be cool for much longer. Apple intends to squash this loophole with the iOS 8.1 update.

According to the team behind GBA4iOS, Apple's next update will stop the 'date trick', which allows users to download unauthorised apps through Safari, meaning that the ability to play old school games through emulators will be gone for the foreseeable future.

The 'date trick' involved rolling back the date on your iPad or iPhone, tricking the device into allowing certain pieces of software to be installed. It's no surprise, really, that Apple would fix such a simple hack. I can't imagine that any publisher would be too happy with people downloading ROM after ROM after ROM, even if — technically — ROMs are legal if the user owns the actual video games. Because let's be real here — this sort of thing really does subvert, for example, Nintendo's Virtual Console strategy.

Time to move to Android everyone! The emulator paradise!

(Actually, in my humble opinion, emulators on touch screen devices are pretty terrible!)

iOS 8.1 blocks ‘date trick’ loophole that allows emulators on iPhone and iPad [Cult of Mac]


Comments

    even if — technically — ROMs are legal if the user owns the actual video games.

    They actually aren't. It's a common misconception but ROMs are illegal regardless of whether you own the original game or not, and regardless of whether the game in question or the system it was originally released for is still being manufactured and sold.

    Emulators themselves are perfectly legal however, and some companies provide ROMs from their old games to consumers and these are obviously legal too. If Apple are blocking the use of emulators entirely they are just being dicks.

    Last edited 09/10/14 9:58 am

      Half truth. Homebrew ROMs are legal if you don't use any copyrighted code.

        some companies provide ROMs from their old games to consumers and these are obviously legal too
        I'm pretty sure that covers games that the developers allow you to emulate.

        Last edited 09/10/14 10:20 am

          Oops replied to wrong post.

          Last edited 09/10/14 11:04 am

        We're talking about ROMs of actual released, copyrighted video games that third parties have made available, not ROMs of original material.

        Last edited 09/10/14 11:04 am

    ios8 is such a mess, and I'm a big Apple user. It's just... not good. Yet.

    So you can still use iFunbox to transfer the ROMs from your comp to phone.

    yeah emulators can be pretty bad depending on the console. but i think it works for slower paced gameboy games :) i love playing pokemon on my windows phone :)

      I still pull out the old grey brick Gameboy for a go of Tetris...it's just not the same on anything else!

        i have a few of those hanging around :) i still love to pull out the old Sega GameGear for a go every day though :P

    (Actually, in my humble opinion, emulators on touch screen devices are pretty terrible!)

    Not when you can pair a bluetooth controller it isn't!

      Depends on the game too.. something like supermarioworld is pretty clumsy, but pokemon works fine

    With my Xperia Z, I can use dualshock 3 controllers instead of buying crazy ones and remap the controls to do away with on screen buttons. Emulators are pretty damn good with this setup. Sorry Apple owners, back to jailbreaking for you

      I have the same phone and totally agree

        Super mario world on a bus is the best entertainment. My only hassle is finding a clip I can use to secure my phone to the damn controller

    Time for Nintendo to release a Skylanders: Trap Force style base with Bluetooth controller and licensed VC app for iOS/Android!

    and now I'll wake up.

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