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Why was a C64 emulator for iPhone rejected by the App Store?

An iPhone app that emulated the Commodore 64 has been rejected by Apple's App Store on the grounds that it emulates the Commodore 64. We examine why

In 20 years time, those of us still in tech will look back on Apple's App Store and reminisce fondly -- probably in a Top Ten list. Seriously though, we will. We'll remember it for reinvigorating the mobile world, and for having one of the most schizophrenic, bipolar submission-approval processes in history.

The latest victim is Manomio, Kiloo and Commodore Gaming's Commodore 64 emulator for iPhone -- the kind of ROM-reading app that makes us born-in-the-80s gamers fill up with ample nostalgic goo. The C64 emulator has been rejected from entering the App Store by Apple because it emulates the C64. More specifically on the grounds that it "violates the iPhone SDK Agreement [because an App may not] itself install or launch other executable code."

So why, the entire world is asking, is Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog app allowed in, when it has been widely reported to be a Mega Drive/Genesis emulator running the game's original ROM file?

It seems it could be because Sega's emulator is crippled at best. Although hacking your iPhone enables you to play other games with it, most don't work. Sega's app only allows use of the Mega Drive's 'A' button. It's the emulator equivalent of a man with all his limbs hacked off and one eye scooped out. Whereas Manomio's app seems to be able to run any Commodore code, and not just games -- it could emulate C64 BASIC.

The blog Touch Arcade did a good job of providing some interesting background on the emulator. Hopefully Manomio will be able to tweak the code and get it on the App Store soon. Or maybe it'll just port it to Android, which would welcome it with open arms -- it is an officially licensed emulator after all.