iMAME Kicked Out of Apple's App Store
If you are a fan of vintage arcade games then you probably read our previous article about iMAME, the popular emulation tool for MAME (which stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator).
The emulators can be used to recreate the experience of classic coin-op and console videogames on PCs, Macs, and jailbroken iOS devices. The main catch here being that in order to run the old games, you need a copy of the game ROM code. Copies of the code are essentially unavailable via legitimate licensing in most cases. The other catch is that full-scale emulators usually arenít welcome on the iOS App Store. Those that have made it past the rigorous review process are usually very careful when it comes to locking downt he ability to run arbitrary third-party programs.
This was the exact reason why it was so surprising to see iMAME show up in the App Store this past week. The game emulator seemed to be a straight up clone of the jailbreak-only iMAME4A11 app which played ten Exidy legit games as one would expect. The trick here was to use a file transfer tool such as PhoneView or iExplorer to throw in additional ROMs and have access to playing a larger variety of games through the iMAME app.
The whole thing seemed too good to last and unfortunately it was. Running arbitrary code in the App Store is usually a bad idea and since this app did exactly that, it ended up being taken out of the US App Store as of 1:30pm. It seems that some developers have built patched versions of the jailbreak-only iMAME4A11 project that will compile in Xcode and install on properly provisioned un-jailbroken devices. This will only apply to active participants in the iOS developer program; otherwise there is no way to install the patched app.
How do you feel about the iMAME app being removed from the App Store? Were you one of the many who went out and purchased an iCade cabinet to go along with the app, only to be left disappointed? Share any thoughts and opinions below!
Source: App Store
, Blue Lotus (blog)