‘iDOS 2’ emulator for iOS to be removed from the App Store

By | December 13, 2023

Earlier this month, my 9to5Mac colleague Parker Ortolani wrote about iDOS 2, which is not exactly a new app but had been getting a lot of attention recently as users discovered how to use it to run Windows 3.1 on the iPad. Unfortunately, as expected, Apple didn’t like the idea and iDOS 2 will soon be removed from the App Store.

As the name suggests, iDOS is an iOS app that is designed to emulate classic DOS games on the iPhone and iPad. However, it is also capable of running a full version of Windows, such as Windows 3.1. Users had been enjoying this possibility as the app even supports external keyboard and mouse, which basically turns the iPad into a Windows machine.

Following the app’s repercussion, Apple informed developer Chaoji Li that he should update the app to remove the ability to let users import packages and image files from external sources, otherwise the app would be removed from the App Store. As this would break the app’s functionality for those who paid for it, Li has decided that he will remove iDOS 2 as requested by Apple.

On his website (via MacRumors), the developer clarified that he always made it clear in the app description what it was capable of running in sandbox emulation and that no code can be downloaded directly from the internet. Still, Apple says that iDOS 2 violates guideline 2.5.2, which prohibits apps from installing or running external code on iOS.

Specifically, your app executes iDOS package and image files and allows iTunes File Sharing and Files support for importing games. Executing code can introduce or changes features or functionality of the app and allows for downloading of content without licensing.

The company even mentions that some apps with educational purposes can run code under limited circumstances, but that this was not the case for iDOS 2.

Please note that while educational apps designed to teach, develop, or allow students to test executable code may, in limited circumstances, download code, such code may not be used for other purposes and such apps must make the source code completely viewable and editable by the user.

Users who have purchased the app will be able to continue using it after it has been removed from the App Store. However, the developer warns that Apple might remove it completely from the store in the future, which would make it unavailable even to those who had it in their purchase history.

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