Developer Manomio developed a fully-legal Commodore 64 emulator for the iPhone, struggled to get it approve by Apple, then succeeded when it disabled the BASIC interpreter. Except it didn’t. From Wired’s Gadget Lab blog:
In order to win Apple’s approval the developer Manomio pulled the BASIC interpreter form the application. It turns out that it was still in there and could be activated with a few keystrokes. It took all of a few minutes for Apple to hear about this and pull the application yet again. For a developer that went to such lengths to secure copyright permissions, this seems a bit dumb.
I can’t believe that there’s any drama associated with running an early 1980s BASIC interpreter on the iPhone in late 2009–can anyone explain to me a scenario under which sandboxed Commodore 64 BASIC could present dangers to iPhone users or to Apple? But if you wanna keep your app on the iPhone store, hiding a feature you’d told Apple you’d disabled as an Easter Egg does feel like an act that’s destined to backfire big-time. Wonder if Apple will simply approve the new de-BASICed version that Manomio says it’s re-resubmitted, or whether it ever penalizes developers for being sneaky?