In today’s not unsurprising but still incredibly disappointing Apple news, beta testers of Riley Testut’s upcoming successor to the GBA4iOS emulator, Delta, were notified over the weekend that the app has been removed from TestFlight. According to Testut, over 10,000 people applied just to get in on the beta and well over 10,000,000 people downloaded the original GBA4iOS. The demand for these emulators is a real thing, and we’ve even experienced that ourselves over the years as any time we post a story about a new one slipping out on to the App Store it’ll vastly outperform any of the other articles posted that week.
The Delta team is currently looking into a way to distribute the beta outside of TestFlight, but doesn’t have any details on what’s happening just yet. As someone who has fiddled around with the beta of Delta, so far it’s shaping up to be just as awesome as GBA4iOS, which is quite a feat as GBA4iOS was one hell of an emulator. It’s sad that such fantastic software isn’t allowed inside of the Apple ecosystem, even just for testing purposes on TestFlight.
I wouldn’t really hold your breath on these policies ever changing, as Apple’s walled garden has been harshly criticized by developers over the years with no movement from Cupertino. Most recently, in an interview with Glixel on somewhat similar locked down VR ecosystems, Epic’s Tim Sweeney said:
Apple has a monopoly on iOS hardware. That’s fine. But they shouldn’t be able to tie that market to a monopoly on distributing software, on collecting in-app revenue from software. I should be able to go to a web page and download a new Epic game to my phone without Apple’s approval. I should be able to use Confederate flags, if that was our design choice, in our product.
Anyway, beta testers of Delta should keep an eye on their inboxes for more news on how to get upcoming beta builds, and for everyone else, hopefully Apple booting them off TestFlight doesn’t slow down development too much. I’m really excited for the public release of Delta.