Commodore 64 Emulator Comes, Goes On the iPhone

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Maybe some of you were lucky enough to snatch up this gem while it was available ever so briefly. I’m talking about the Commodore 64 emulator for the iPhone platform that’s been in development by Manomio for many months now.

According to 9 to 5 Mac, it made a short-lived appearance after finally being approved by Apple, the product of much back and forth by the two companies. The app was finally approved after Manomio removed a BASIC interpreter that violated the terms of the SDK. Or appeared to remove it, anyway.

The BASIC interpreter actually remained in place, one user found. The iPhone Blog describes the easter egg-type glitch required to make bring it up:

If you’re dying to get your BASIC on, however, reader Stooovie let us know you can still access it by enabling “always show full keyboard,” starting a game, paging over to the EXTRA keyboard, and then tapping RESET.

Clearly, Apple reviewers weren’t aware that of this fun little secret when they gave the emulator a pass. We end users should figure out some way to talk in code about this stuff so that we can share and enjoy it without alerting the authorities.

Manomio is maintaining that it wasn’t trying to sneak anything past Apple’s review process. Or at least, it didn’t intend anyone to be able to access it, end users included. The developer claims it left in the BASIC interpreter in the hopes that Apple would later relax its policies, at which point it could be activated remotely:

Unfortunately Apple this night pulled the C64 App from the App Store. We had agreed with Apple to remove basic from the application, but as we believed it would be possible to convince Apple to let it in later on, we left it in the app to be activated remotely by us when we had “go” from Apple.

Due to the extreme publicity the app has received over the weekend and the fact that several users found a way to enable the basic back, Apple decided to remove the app from App Store until we have solved the issue.

This is very frustrating as we had no intention of tricking basic into the app and the fix was done in a few minutes the moment we found out – a new version has been submitted to Apple, and we can only hope Apple will appreciate our efforts to apply the changes they need in order to put it back on.

Whether or not it’s true, that excuse is unlikely to prompt Apple to let the app back in the store any time soon. Oh well, guess it’s time to shelve those dreams of playing Altered Beast on my phone once again.

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