Apple rejects C64 emulator, softcore app for iPhone

Manomio's C64 1.0 and Allen the Geek's Hottest Girls are the latest iPhone and iPod touch applications to fall victim to the whims of Apple's App Store submission guidelines, although the apps otherwise share little in common. The C64 1.0 software emulates classic videogames originally available via the Commodore 64 home computer system, complete with a virtual joystick and keyboard, portrait and landscape gaming, and a fully-licensed C64 emulator code. (Click here for a video demo.) Even though Manomio developed the application in conjunction with publisher Kiloo, which owns the Commodore 64 license, Apple nevertheless rejected the submission, citing an SDK clause prohibiting interpreted or executable code.

According to Touch Arcade, Manomio received an App Store rejection letter reading in part "Thank you for submitting C64 1.0 to the App Store. We've reviewed C64 1.0 and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it violates the iPhone SDK Agreement; ‘3.3.2 An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple's Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).'"

As Manomio CEO Brian Lyscarz points out to Touch Arcade, the App Store features a number of applications that do roughly the same thing as C64 1.0, among them CHIP-8 emulators, programmable calculators and Z-machine interpreter Frotz. In addition, Sega's Golden Axe and Sonic iPhone games are essentially emulators packaged with the original game ROMs.

Hottest Girls, meanwhile, earned mainstream media attention after it was seemingly anointed the first Apple-authorized iPhone and iPod touch application to feature nudity--however, within a day after the application first surfaced in the App Store, the computing giant reversed course and removed the app. Hottest Girls, which promised consumers topless models alongside a gallery of "2200+ sexy bikini babes and lingerie models," briefly emerged as an Internet cause célèbre, with many pundits speculating that the application heralded a new, less conservative era in the App Store's evolution. However, Apple now contends that the topless images were added to Hottest Girls only after the application ran the submission gauntlet.

"Apple will not distribute applications that contain inappropriate content, such as pornography," said Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr in a statement. "The developer of this application added inappropriate content directly from their server after the application had been approved and distributed, and after the developer had subsequently been asked to remove some offensive content. This was a direct violation of the terms of the iPhone Developer Program. The application is no longer available on the App Store."

According to TechCrunch, Hottest Girls development team Allen the Geek initially claimed it pulled the app on its own accord, citing overwhelming consumer demand. "The Hottest Girls app is temporarily sold out," read a now-deleted message on the Allen the Geek website. "The server usage is extremely high because of the popularity of this app. Thus, by not distributing the app, we can prevent our servers from crashing. Those who already have the app will still be able to use our app. To answer the question on everyone's mind: Yes, the topless images will still be there when it is sold again."

For more on the App Store smackdown:
- read this Touch Arcade article and this CNN.com article

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