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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today.


According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.
During review, your app installed or launched executable code, which is not permitted on the App Store.

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.

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.
Apple's App Store team has given Li 14 days to submit an update removing the offending functionality, or the app will be removed from the App Store.

iDOS 2 has been available in the App Store since 2014, and its predecessor, iDOS, was first released in 2010. iDOS has had issues with Apple before, and in 2010, Apple pulled the original emulator app from the App Store. Changes were made, and the app was allowed back in the App Store in 2011, but there have still been ongoing troubles with Apple.

iDOS 2 went four years without an update because of Apple's restrictions on iTunes file sharing and bundling game files without ownership, but in 2020, Li implemented document storage and was able to once again update the app.

Since 2020, iDOS has been able to run games and programs accessed through file sharing, which Apple now says is not allowed. Li says that he never aimed to trick or fool reviewers, and instead made it clear with each update how the app worked.

Li says that he is not going to cut the critical functions of the iDOS 2 app to comply with Apple's App Store rules, because it would be a betrayal of users who purchased the app for those features.

iDOS 2 is still available for purchase at the current time, but Apple may soon be pulling it from the App Store.

Article Link: Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store


macrumors 68000
Jul 25, 2017
If you buy an app and download it on your phone, does it stay installed unless you wipe your device?


macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2017
Gothenburg, Sweden
This is the kind of consumer-hostile nonsense that is making me think long and hard about what I intend to replace my XS Max with.

I’d love to hear Apple explain how not letting me play 25 or 30-year-old games for a quick nostalgia fix is for my own good.

Of course they’d probably come up with some mealymouthed nonsense, like when they try to explain why it’s bad and wrong to stream external, unvetted content (games) to an iOS device, but it’s also perfectly fine to stream external, unvetted content (videos) to an iOS device.


macrumors member
Apr 4, 2019
This is problematic. The people who paid for the app are now being stripped of it.

"Li says that he is not going to cut the critical functions of the iDOS 2 app to comply with Apple's App Store rules, because it would be a betrayal of users who purchased the app for those features."

Removing this app will set a precedent for future app removals for paid apps and stripping features.


macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2010
Alternative app stores would remedy this situation. Clearly the iPhone can run emulators such as this DOS emulator, as well as many others like SNES9x, etc. There are so many potential ideas for apps that Apple would never allow in the App Store, and willing users/purchasers of those Apps. Apple is effectively restricting otherwise legal trade.

Meanwhile, while Apple claims that alternative app stores and/or side-loading would destroy iOS security, Pegasus has done that all on its own, despite the iPhone being locked down. So what is the point?
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macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2013


macrumors G3
May 31, 2007
Florida, USA
An easy fix for this, that will make the developer more money, is to offer all the games through in-app-purchases. (If there are no licensing issues with the game)
This doesn't work with the emulation community.

Even though publishers of decades old abandonware might not mind their software being distributed for free, if someone starts making money from it they WILL step in and lay the smack down hard.

The emulation community depends on publishers letting us play with their old stuff. It's legally nebulous, which is likely why Apple doesn't want this stuff in their store; it exposes them to potential lawsuits. Emulators are one of the biggest reasons I think sideloading should be allowed. As soon as Apple is not distributing the stuff, they're no longer liable so they have no reason to care.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2012
No real loss. You can run DOS games in a web based simulator.

I'm sure there are others.
There’s a great Amiga one too.
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macrumors 6502a
Jan 29, 2004
What "executables" is it running other than the DOS programs its emulating? How the hell do you run those otherwise?
You don't. I was stunned when this app was allowed.
I had an idea for an app years ago that ran much more useful apps in a way that would line right up with what Apple wants to do. It remains undeveloped because I can't guarantee it would pass review. (I'm not going to go into details, because I still hope a clarification allows it one day.)
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macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2016
That's why I hope Apple will loose in court regarding alternate App stores. They raised good points but I hate their moral. Somedays I might even want to run an 'adult' App.
The lack of adult apps is puzzling to me, seeing as they allow TikTok and other social media apps, which is the choice of pedophiles in seeking out victims these days. There are much more dangerous things in the App Store than adult content. Not to mention your kid can just open Safari and type in... well, use your imagination.
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