New iOS Update To Break Emulators On iPhones Just Because
from the game-over dept
It’s been pretty well established that the major console manufacturers out there hate independently developed emulators of their consoles. Why they react so violently against them instead of working out some kind of mutually beneficial licensing arrangement is a bit beyond me, but you may recall that a couple of years ago, both Sega and Nintendo strong-armed Google into pulling a bunch of emulators from the mobile marketplace. That move has worked so spectacularly that a cursory search in the Play Store returns all kinds of emulators. Job well done!
In any case, Apple appears to be bending to their collective wills in a similar fashion, with the most recent iOS update nixing an easy exploit that would allow emulators to be installed on iPhones that had not been jailbroken. The method that had been used by “antique” game enthusiasts was really easy.
Developers discovered the “date trick” that allows unapproved apps to be installed without hacking simply by rolling back the date and time on an iOS device and downloading apps through Safari. This is now the preferred method of gaining access to apps like GBA4iOS or Popcorn Time without losing things like software updates and support from Apple.
I have no idea about the technical details behind how rolling back the time on the phone somehow allows the installation of the emulators, but apparently a ton of folks utilized it, stimulating an active emulation community for iOS devices. What with Apple’s cozy relationship with console makers and its own authoritarian practices with its app store, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before the exploit was removed.
In a blog post entitled “Apple Is Slowly Killing Everything We Love,” Dario Sepulveda writes, “iOS 8.1 beta was seeded to developers yesterday and it’s already causing panic among iOS emulator aficionados… The Date Trick fuels the emulator communities nowadays… Without it, everything looks bleak.”
Indeed it does. Of course, it did seem inevitable that this would come sooner or later; Apple has been working to put a stop to jailbreaking since it started back in 2007 — the same year the iPhone made its debut — so it has always seemed unlikely the Cupertino company would just turn a blind eye to this. But it’s a massive shame.
A massive shame indeed, especially since the move is so wholly unnecessary. There’s absolutely no reason why console and game makers couldn’t utilize the apps and communities already in place to both build up their fan base and make a little coin as well. Instead, by going the protectionist route, they only anger true fans and limit the exposure of their products.