pokemon-yellow-iosApple's Developer Enterprise Program is pretty cool because it allows testers, creators, and media to download and install apps without having to mess with UDIDs or provisioning profiles. Basically, you just download an app via your device's browser and, bam, you've got whatever app the developer wants you to have, simple, easy and fast. But, it's also an exploitable program, as ReadWrite is pointing out with an article about how loopholes are allowing a GBA emulator onto the iOS platform. In brief, there's a new-ish emulator in town and anyone can download it without having to jailbreak because of how the Enterprise system works.

ReadWrite's article is a super informative read, so give it a shot if you're wondering the hows and whys. For the most part, all of it comes back to how open and easy Apple's Developer Enterprise Program is to users.

It's incredibly likely that Apple won't be happy with someone using their beta testing stuff to do this, so we expect the door to be closed in the near future. Until then, though, folks can play Pokemon and Mario on their phones -- though, we'll note that they're doing so at their own risk. The whole reason iPhones and iPads have so much protection is to prevent problems.

[via ReadWrite]

  • Aventador

    *khm* google emu4ios *khm*

  • iOSPeace

    This has been around for ages for people who jaibreakers. It's nothing new

    • Lyra

      The post was for people who don't jailbreak. No one was claiming it was new.

    • hourglass

      'From people who jailbreakers'?

      As a future English teacher, I find that statement very offensive.

      • hourglass


        It's too early.

      • RickShaw

        Still got it wrong bud

      • RickShaw

        Never mind

      • ratsinheat

        You'll so better when you're an actual English teacher, not just a student wanting to be one

    • B30
  • BulkSlash

    I was looking into doing some iOS development for a customer just recently and wondered if this was as open to abuse as it sounded when I read the documentation. I'm glad it is!

    • greatnoob

      Yup, if you're willing to pay upwards of $300+ it sure is!

    • Captain Cabnasty

      What are you working on?

      • BulkSlash

        Nothing exciting like a game sadly. It's an iPad app for a large motor company to give to their showroom staff, it will have stats and info on the vehicles for sale and checks stock levels so if the colour the customer wants isn't available they can either wait for one from the factory or consider a different colour that is available.

        It might have interactive 3D vehicle views if we can get the budget which could be fun, but it's quite expensive getting someone to model all the different vehicles!

  • Protoman


    • ptdshiznit818

      What a coincidence, Protoman is a character in the "new" game I find myself playing on my phone thanks to this news! :DDD

      • chaos_envoys

        What game? MMBN 5 team protoman?

      • ptdshiznit818

        Haha yea, love it.

  • Aweszome

    Very, very cool

  • bigrand1

    Ooh, but $300?! Don't want it THAT bad.....

    • ratsinheat


  • felipe

    If im not wrong, it looks like "test flight"

  • hourglass

    Why doesn't Nintendo just release Red and Blue on iOS? That was, nostalgia gamers can get their fix and Nintendo can make money.

    • Nick Statt

      Because they'd rather loop you into the 3DS ecosystem and get you to pay for games like that via the Virtual Console. Nintendo also doesn't want to downgrade the experience of playing their games that were designed for button controls on a touch screen.

      • basil

        I think you mean so they maintain 100% of the profits without competing with a large varying developer stomping ground

      • Nick Statt

        You're absolutely right, and when I mention 3DS ecosystem, it's because an iOS app would mean a 30% cut going to Apple. Nintendo would never do that., not when it could simply release in the future a low-cost handheld player that only plays its old games through a virtual store with manageable DRM.

      • alex98909

        and jailbreakers would get it free, on 3ds, no flash card yet and less people use them

      • Jonathan Westlake

        Plus, you know, they still want to charge a relative fortune for 20 year old games. It takes the fracking michael. I've got a 3DS collecting dust because I can't bring myself to pay the riduclous prices...

      • ElectromagneticMelaniePulse

        You actually think Pokemon would be downgraded by touch controls? Have you played a Pokemon game? Not only are they simple enough that virtual buttons couldn't fail, but if they were actually ported over with native touch controls - those controls could easily work a lot better than playing with buttons.

      • Onikage725

        Especially red and blue. I used to play that one handed. Still, don't hold your breath on 1st party IP from any hardware dev traveling around. That just isn't how this works. Never has been.

      • Nick Statt

        No, I don't. Clearly you can play a simple RPG like Pokemon with a touch screen. That's just the commonly argued point from a somewhat PR perspective echoed by big publishers like Nintendo. And it's also an argument on their end for quality control. If Nintendo execs feel the experience would be downgraded, it's their call because they own the IP.

      • izzynobre

        ...except they don't offer those titles on the eShop for the 3DS, rendering that point moot.

      • Nick Statt

        For now, yes, but there are a lot of games that from the GB/GBA that are available for download that one could simply just find a ROM for and put on their iDevice.

        And who's say Nintendo won't release them later or, like I mention above, a low-cost handheld that only accesses the Virtual Console and can play games like Pokemon.

  • SrMomo

    Old news!!! Both Mcbuildserver and gba4ios.....

  • clocknova

    Why does each download write over the previous one?

    • Pannthamann

      What do you mean

      • clocknova

        Each emulator I download simply overwrites the previous one rather than adding itself as a new app.

      • Serafiniert

        Same here. It's pretty annoying, especially because of the great possibility of having a NDS, SNES, GBA emu and the display recorder

      • Pannthamann

        Oh I've only downloaded the GBA emu. I feel like that would be the best one considering playability and file size. Btw having a blast playing fire red without jailbreaking!!

      • godofodd

        The page has an update indicating this problem will be fixed within two weeks.

      • Nick

        Because their build server gives every app the same bundle identifier, com.macbuildserver.helloapp. Bundle IDs have to be unique for each application on a device. If you try installing another app with the same Bundle ID, it's effectively seen as the same app by the system, and will go right on top of the previous app.

    • Shadowking2214

      I think they're adding the ability to have multiple apps installed at a time,it said something a bit ago about "expect the ability to have multiple emulators within two weeks"

    • Nekku

      There is a drive-by installation of an profile if u install any of these Apps. U can check it in settings. Looks suspicious...

      • Nick

        It's not a drive-by installation. Provisioning profiles get installed as part of distributing development builds. Notice it's note a configuration profile. A provisioning profile is necessary for installing the developer build of the application and poses no risk.

    • riggysmalls

      It says on the site that they are going to fix that within the next few weeks

  • captainChocolade

    Love it as the price is zero bucks!!!

  • coheedrocks27

    While I do agree the touchscreen degrades the experience its still nice for RPGs

  • http://ignorethecode.net LKM

    "The whole reason iPhones and iPads have so much protection is to prevent problems."

    I doubt that. That's just a nice side-effect .I suspect the main reason is to give Apple a monopoly on selling apps.

    • ImJPaul

      It's probably both. But as long as the other exists they can say its all because of that.

      • Morgan01

        Apple wants to monopolize and control whatever goes on their devices. They have locked them down and design them to be none upgradable so that they need to be replaced every so often. It's a way to secure income and future profits. Never mind that you purchased and own the devices, they still want to enforce control. It's their own little world that doesn't play nice with others

      • pxlpshr

        And you have the right to vote with your wallet and go Android. Such is the beauty of the free market.

    • Morgan01

      If IOS devices have so much protection, why have several programs hit the App Store with emulators hidden in them? If someone can hide an emulator that can be downloaded, who's to say other programs can't be hidden?

  • alex98909

    Does that mean it could be used to get iModGames on non jail-break? Of so id like to know how!

  • alex98909

    Is there a way to play on horizontal instead of vertically, its harder for games like metroi or just overall

    • pxlpshr

      Yes you can play horizontally

  • deepblueocean84

    How can I download am emulator without jail breaking my phone? Sorry, I am new at this stuff. I want to play Nintendo games.

    • http://bytefair.com/ Paul Graham

      Step 1. Read article

      • Pannthamann


    • orangecan

      It's ridiculously easy I've never done it before and was slightly nervous but just follow the instructions and you can't go wrong. Took me 5 mins to get it installed and another 5 to find games I wanted. As someone else said its not an ideal platform for arcade games (on the phone at least) but great for old style RPGs.

  • LanceAvion

    Interesting stuff. It also blows all the claims of "lol newbs I knew about this years ago" out of the water.

  • Zeldaniac

    To those who are saying "yay, I can finally run an emulator without jailbreaking!": Downloading these apps from third-party sources are the exact same risk as jailbreaking, plus jailbreaking gives you these emulators and more. Just saying.

  • elia

    Where I download this lol ?

  • anabolicMike

    Not a loophole. It's being allowed to happen. Kudos for Apple for showing at least a little proactive thinking when it comes to developing apps. I really doubt some dudes gonna be all "OMG I can play GBA on my phone! Ill pay 299 to get into enterprise RIGHT now". Wait. As I was typing that I realized that I'm wrong. Who the heck wouldn't spend 299 for the freedom this is going to allow? GBA now, then SNES. Of course I could have just got an android phone an it all that hmmmmmm circles n circles

    • jarland

      Pretty much. Anything worth the money that can actually generate the money will probably go to the App Store. Doesn't matter what percentage Apple takes, people are getting rich off the App Store and it's a brilliant model that is benefitting a lot of people and has attracted more mobile developers than we've ever seen on another platform, android deservingly not far behind of course (credit where it's due, both great platforms).

      This is nice to see people taking advantage of purely due to the "cool" factor but it's probably going to be followed by a malicious attempt on unintelligent users, followed by a change in protocol from Apple. Until then, I guess I can play Pokemon? Meh, got better games on iOS already.

      • jarland

        ("Another mobile platform" is a correction there)

  • pxlpshr

    It seems only fair to play outdated, antiquated games for free. It's not like Nintendo would monetize these games anyways. Like a patent expiring or using a song that's free license.

    Nintendo is so dang stubborn to boot. They'd make millions and millions of dollars - spanking every game dev if they unleashed their library on iOS. They could charge what they wanted to.

    BTW, you can play the DS too without jailbreaking your device. The controls for the DS are utter s**t on iOS. Can't wait to use Apple's official controller with these games.

  • Greyskull

    DID you REALLY have to publish a front page article about this? Dammit.

  • Kafu

    It's not a "loophole": MacBuildServer is simply violating the Enterprise Program License, and will be terminated by Apple as soon as they will know it. The Enterprise builds can only be used on devices *owned* by the same company (MacBuildServer is violating this clause), for external testers you still have to use ordinary AdHoc certificates.

    BTW: to obtain an Enterprise account, you need a registered company with all documentation in place.

  • shine330

    How come when i try installing it, it won't and it keeps saying that it cannot be downloaded at this time?

    • Nekku

      Ye, seems like Apple has stepped into the court.

  • shine330

    So they patched up whatever it was?

  • KusanagiShiro

    Not work? *inhale* NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

  • KusanagiShiro

    Time to invest in an android tablet

  • pxlpshr

    Party's over. None work now. Apple just took a Howitzer to these non App Store apps.

    • pxlpshr

      Time to get an S4. It's been fun Apple but you're the girlfriend with a nice ass and no tits. I'm going for the tits and ass.

  • lordyokomoto

    Amazing had it for ages ... Touch arcade blast it all over their site and few hours apple step in ffs guys

  • charlie8bit

    Has this been confirmed, or are the servers just getting swamped?

    • lordyokomoto

      It will dl but won't install