C64 No Longer Available in App Store?

no longer available

As of this writing, while the C64 emulator app still shows up in the iTunes App Store, attempting to buy it results in the above error message:

The item you tried to buy is no longer available

The availability of the item changed while you were using the store. The same item may be available with a different price or elsewhere on the store.

Whether this is just a glitch in the system, or a result of Apple pulling the app due to the BASIC interpreter still being accessible via a workaround (which would likely be a violation of App , is unknown. If the latter, hopefully the developer can update and return the app to the store ASAP. Given how fast Apple has been processing Facebook updates lately, it shouldn't take long to get a revision up, right?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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C64 No Longer Available in App Store?

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I noticed this shortly after Gruber posted his Linked List entry about the BASIC interpreter being available. I just checked again a minute ago, and it's not even showing up in the search results anymore. This is not a glitch. Apple definitely pulled C64 from the store.

See this is what happens when people post work around on the net. Apple has no time to approve apps, but the have plenty of time to trawl the net looking for things like this.
The thing is, if they do remove the workaround, it diminishes the usefulness of the app.
I'm betting since Apple told them to remove it, and someone found/leaked a way to get at the interpreter, that Apple bitchslapped the developer right into next week.
This also suggests how weak the Apple Sandbox is. If they have to worry about Basic running in their sandbox that says to me they are worried about the sandbox's integrity.

But before the cries of outrage start, this is not a crazy, inconsistent Apple demand. They told all developers, and this developer specifically, not to do what they, in fact, did (and sneakily, too). My kids do that, too, and I punish them for it. Because if I don't, my rules are meaningless. It's really pretty simple -- if you choose to develop for the iTunes Store, you do it by Apple's rules. Some of these rules have seemed haphazard and inconsistent, and there's a case to be made by those who feel they're the victims of this. THe developer of C64 certainly can't play innocent here.

Anybody who didn't see this coming is blind. I downloaded the app as soon as I heard about the work-around because I knew it would be pulled quickly.

So, why do they even test the submitted apps, if they cannot find such easy omissions? I've found the workaround 5 minutes after buying the app. If the approval process works on a honor system ("we've removed the BASIC, honestly!"), there is no reason for it to take ages. If it doesn't, how coukd they let this one slip?

@Stoovie:
How can the remove the basic and still be a C64 emulator?
How did you find the workaround? From what you read here or what you knew about C64?
If you are the typical Apple employee, just how much would you know about hacking a C64? Answer: Didly Squat.

Other than access to BASIC, there is another possible reason that the app was pulled. C64 seems to be a port of the program Frodo to the iPhone. Frodo is an GPL open-source program and there are not any links to the source code that I or others can find. It appears that the app is violation of copyright law by not posting their modifications of the source code. If the Frodo folks complained to Apple, Apple would be compelled to remove it.

@icebike
I actually broke the news here. I found the workaround just toying with the app. I had the C64 back then, but that has nothing to do with me finding the workaround - as I said, it's no hack and requires no knowledge of C64.

@Dewayne:
I don't think this is the case. The WinMo version (3.0), which, core emulation-wise, has been out for sale for almost two years - and still is.

This isn't about the "integrity" of the Apple sandbox. This is about the potential of a lawsuit from Microsoft, whose lawyers just love to find stuff like this. Commodore Basic was licensed from Microsoft for that machine only. Microsoft still maintains their rights to the code. This could be a big legal mess. Don't blame Apple. Blame Bill.

@ yes it didn't ;) there's even my name in the link you provide. Please stop playing that "my daddy is bigger than yours" game ;)

:) no harm done. I hope Apple and Manomio will find a way to fix it, and meanwhile, I'm happy I bought it while BASIC lasted :)

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