Will users of iDOS protest too much?
Apple's App Store approvals policy is causing another stir today, after a DOS emulator was approved for distribution on its store, then abruptly removed a few hours later.
iDOS was a Universal app for iPhone and iPad based on open-source DOS emulator DOSbox. It included a virtual PC keyboard, and could run vintage PC software and games.
Soon after it launched yesterday afternoon, blogs started publishing reviews showing which games worked on the emulator. Someone even managed to get Microsoft's Windows 3 OS running on it.
Then, as the buzz mounted, Apple removed the application from its store.
The company has long had a policy of barring apps that allow users to run executable code or dig too deeply into the iPhone OS.
Developers wanting to launch emulator apps - for example Manomio with its C64 app - have had to work around these restrictions. Recently, that app introduced the BASIC programming language, which had previously been an issue with Apple.
It remains to be seen why iDOS was considered beyond the pale - and equally importantly, why nobody within Apple realised this before it went on sale.