Just a few days ago, we wrote an article on how MovieBox, PlayBox HD, and HD Cinema stopped working on iOS 8.1.3. Well, as it turns out, the same applies to other side-loaded apps like popular Nintendo emulators for iOS – SNES4iOS and GBA4iOS, Super Nintendo and GameBoy Advance emulators respectively. Details after the image!
Apple has a list of type of apps it just does not allow in the App Store because of legal / moral issues. The most popular type of unallowed apps includes video streaming apps, torrent downloaders, and in the context of this post – emulators for retro consoles.
Now, as far as my knowledge goes, making and distributing emulators is not an illegal activity. However, a consequence of downloading emulators is of course downloading game ROMs to play them. Again, it is – as far as I know – fully legal to emulate a game ROM as long as you own the original cartridge on your Super Nintendo or GameBoy Advance.
I never owned a Super Nintendo, and the GameBoy Advance I had had limited number of games. It is safe to assume a good majority of users do not own the cartridges for the games that they intend to play on emulators. That is illegal, and that is why Apple does not allow emulators on the App Store.
There is a demand for emulators, so of course people find a way. GBA4iOS 2.1 and SNES4iOS can be side-loaded, i.e. downloaded and installed without a jailbreak. The technique that is used for distributing these emulators is rather brittle; it is not unheard of for it to suddenly stop working. It is equally not unheard of for some users being unable to download in the first place.
Well, that has been proven again. SNES4iOS, NDS4iOS and GBA4iOS are not longer working on iOS 8.1.3, and there is no current, non-jailbroken solution for it other than waiting it out. We will definitely cover how to download GBA4iOS and SNES4iOS on iOS 8.1.3, if we come across any mechanism.
Note that you can always jailbreak your iOS device on iOS 8.1.2, and download these emulators through Cydia. Hopefully you haven’t upgraded, and if you have you can always downgrade iOS 8.1.3 to iOS 8.1.2 until Apple signs iOS 8.1.2 (the window will close any day now!). You will need to downgrade iTunes 12.1 as well.