Apple is closing a loophole which allows consumers to install disallowed classic games
Apple is closing a loophole which allows consumers to install disallowed classic games

No more Super Mario: iOS 8.1 upgrade will block 'date trick' loophole

Apple's latest iOS is understood to have patched up the loophole that allowed emulators to be installed on its devices

Natasha Culzac
Thursday 09 October 2014 16:18

Apple’s next iOS update will be killing off a much-loved loophole that gamers have been using for years: the ‘date trick’ manoeuvre that allows unapproved emulators and old school games to be installed on its devices.

Previously, classic games like Super Mario Bros, Pokémon and Street Fighter – which otherwise are not on the App store – could be installed on an iOS device using a bypass.

It didn’t require the jailbreaking of the phone, instead users downloaded a software that utilised a flaw in the system.

For it, the handset’s time is set back by at least a day, the app is downloaded through Safari and then the date is set back to its correct one – this all tricked the phone into believing the app was an Apple-approved one.

However, the Beta version of Apple’s latest iOS 8.1 appears to have done away with it for good.

The trick had created an emulator community, but Apple’s plugging of the security gap has left one member lamenting: “Apple is slowly killing everything we love.”

A member of that community, Beta tester Dario Sepulveda, added in a blog post that he understood why Apple would want to block the date trick as part of wider efforts to perfect its system, possibly in addition to copyright pressures coming from affected third parties.

Last year, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said if it were to issue its games via consoles other than its own, it would only benefit the firm in the short-term.

He said: “I’m really responsible for the long-term future of Nintendo as well, so I would never think about providing our precious resources for other platforms at all.”

Authorised manipulation of Apple phones is no new thing – with anything from jailbreaking, to firmware such as Whited00r for older Apple models.

As reported by The Guardian, the emulator community will have to choose between the improvements in iOS 8.1, such as Apple Pay and improvements to its Maps facility, or face being stuck with iOS 8.0.2 forever.

An explainer of how it was done can be found on iDownloadBlog.

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