The holy grail for retro videogame iPhone users is finally upon us. GBA4iOS 2.0 is a Game Boy Advance emulator which allows you to play every Game Boy Advance game in history on your iOS 7-enabled device – without jailbreaking it.
Installation is almost impossibly simple – just visit the GBA4iOS website in your iPhone’s browser of choice (if you’re currently reading this on mobile simply click the hyperlink), and follow through the site to the download page.
Once installed you have access to a complete library of GBA games at the touch of a button. Seriously, just one touch. Games install immediately so the less tech-intrepid have no need to fear, and you can begin playing as soon as they’re done.
Ordinarily this sort of virtual trickery would be confined to the seedy world of Jailbroken iPhones. For those interested for purely academic reasons, Jailbreaking is the process of cracking open your device’s iOS, freeing it from the shackles of the expansive, but limited, iOS App Store. Doing so voids your Apple warranty, but allows you access to a huge variety of interesting and exciting apps and games, that you totally should not consider doing, even though the process is entirely reversible.
There’s one small caveat with regards to installation – upon installing the app for the first time users must manually set their iPhone’s date back to a time before February 19th 2014. Once the app is opened and running the correct time and date can be reset again. This process must be repeated every time the app closes, crashes or the iOS device is rebooted.
The reasoning behind this lies at the heart of what makes GBA4iOS such a unique phenomenon. It is only allowed to exist by virtue of a company which offers downloads to iOS devices whilst bypassing the official App Store. The primary intended usage for this is to allow developers to restrict release of a beta product to its intended testers.
However Riley Testut, creator of GBA4iOS discovered that through using sites like this he can get a product which would otherwise be barred from the App Store to a major audience. The only problem was publicity, but it seems like he needn’t worry about that anymore given the existence of this article.
Testut’s host for the app was forced by Apple to sever ties with him or face their legal wrath. The good news is that by simply changing the date on your iPhone to a time before the site claimed disassociation with GBA4iOS, you can still play with it to your heart’s content.
And, if you’re anywhere near as giddy with excitement as the What Mobile office was upon hearing this news, that should be a mighty long time indeed.