iPhone gamers, here’s a cool surprise: Game Boy emulator is now available on iOS App Store

In a surprising turn of events, a Game Boy emulator named iGBA has made its way to the iPhone and iPad following Apple’s recent changes to its App Store guidelines. The app’s presence marks a significant departure from Apple’s previous stance on emulators, which were strictly prohibited.

Spotting the Arrival

The appearance of iGBA was first noticed by Parker Ortolani, though it’s uncertain whether Apple or the developer decided to remove the app from the store after its initial release. This comes after Apple revised its App Store rules, seemingly allowing game emulators on its platform for the first time, reported 9to5mac.

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Emulator Features and Functionality

iGBA, a free emulator, lets users load and play Game Boy and Game Boy Advance ROMs directly on their iOS devices—a feature Apple would have staunchly opposed just weeks ago. The developer behind iGBA seems to have seized the opportunity presented by this rule change, releasing an app that closely mimics the functionality of the open-source GBA4iOS project. However, iGBA includes embedded ads, a notable distinction from the original open-source version.

Robust Emulator Capabilities

Despite its questionable origins, iGBA is a robust emulator offering a range of features. Users can download ROMs from the web and open them directly in iGBA for gameplay. The app supports save states, customizable virtual controllers, haptic feedback settings, and even AirPlay for external display projection.

Navigating Apple’s New Guidelines

Apple’s revised App Store rules were somewhat vague regarding the allowance of sideloaded ROM installations, referring to licensed emulated programs within the host application. However, if iGBA’s approval was intentional and not an oversight by Apple’s review team, it suggests a broader acceptance of ROM loading functionality.

Apple’s updated policies have opened the floodgates for game emulators on the App Store. As a result, we can expect a wave of similar apps to emerge, providing users with more options to revisit classic games on their modern devices.

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