Full MAME emulator for non-jailbroken iOS

Gridlee: Get it before it's gone.

Gridlee is a freeware arcade game from 1982 which was re-released on the iTunes App Store by David Loureiro. This would have been unremarkable, if Gridlee was a straight port from the source code and if it wasn't actually powered by an up-to-date and fully featured version of MAME4iOS Reloaded.

This means if you have a program capable of tunneling into the iOS file-system through USB, you can once again have a working version of MAME on a non-jailbroken device, complete with your own ROM images. As I can't think of anyone who would legitimately want to play Gridlee on an iPad, this was likely an intentional attempt to sneak the emulator back into the App Store, so we're guessing Apple won't be hosting the file for too long. Grab it while you can...

Update: In case you were wondering, yes, it's been pulled.

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15 Responses:

  1. John says:

    Doesn't Apple have a remote uninstaller or something? I know Amazon does for its Kindles and apparently Google too for anything installed via its Play stores, so I'd assume Apple would join in the bandwagon as well.

    • Jackson says:

      Yes but it's almost never, ever been used. Think horrible security incident or flagrant copying of some pop twat's song in an app. (But Google it for yourself, because as usual, I reserve the right to be wrong, and/or change my mind)


    • Jonny says:

      Maybe. It's never actually been used as far as I know, and it's just "assumed"; some hacker found a reference to some URL which appears to refer to a blacklist of apps (currently empty I believe), but no one ever bothered to check where in the code said URL was actually used, and instead just assumed it MUST be a blacklist of apps checked regularly and then remotely uninstalled.

      • Dusk says:

        The URL in question is https://iphone-services.apple.com/clbl/unauthorizedApps, and speculation is that's only for disabling Core Location services (GPS, basically) on selected applications. If Apple has a general-purpose system for disabling iOS apps, I'm not sure anyone knows where they keep it, and I'm quite sure it's never been used.

        Mac OS X, by contrast, does definitely have a mechanism (called XProtect) for remotely disabling applications, and it has actually been used for preventing the execution of known malware, as well as disabling vulnerable versions of the Java browser plugin. I'm not sure where it pulls its data from, but the data file it uses is located at /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.plist.

    • fdsfds says:

      Doubt that they care unless someone complains.

    • gambiting says:

      They do, but for example I still use the VLC Player for iOS, even though it has been removed from the AppStore ages ago.

  2. Jackson says:

    Oh, and woohoo!
    Thanks for the linkage on the twitter, jwz. I just booted up my pocket sized computer machine to download this before the mother ship yanks it.

  3. Weirdly, it's been there for a few weeks now without the hammer coming down. Unclear if they're just moving slowly, or if they care less since it requires a file explorer tool in order to get roms into it.

    (The briefly-approved iMame from 2 years ago only lasted for a few days, but had the ability to transfer roms using iTunes.)

  4. wkrick says:

    MAME 0.139u1 was released on August 11th 2010, so it isn't exactly "up-to-date". The latest version of MAME is 0.148, which was released January, 11th 2013 and 0.148u1 is due any day now.

    • jwz says:

      This inspired me to try to install a new-is MAME on MacOS, and..., yup. MAME is still pretty fucking worthless. Nothing works, but hey, at least it still feels like DOS!

      This is why I own real arcade stand-ups.

      • Ian says:

        Although I am sure that the cost-benefit balance works for you, not everyone can afford the money or the space necessary.

        • jwz says:

          I was not saying that's a practical solution. Just that MAME is pretty much a non-solution.

          • Jesus. I read this and thought "surely someone has put together a decent MAME package/frontend for OSX by now," and went off spelunking. Spoiler: nope. MameOSX is still abandoned, the only up-to-date build otherwise available is the command-line SDLmame, and all of the available frontends are crap.

            Gridlee + iFunBox appears to be the best current solution for using MAME on any Apple produce. I wonder if it supports airplay mirroring?

        • Nick says:

          Attempting to get mame working is about as much fun as visiting the dentist.

    • JonBro says:

      iirc there was some change between .139 and 1.4+ that moved from "speed" to "accuracy" and that is the rational for using the older version for iphone.