Apple cracks down on service that abused Enterprise Distribution program to let users install GBA emulator

BY Jason

Published 17 Jul 2013

Game_Boy_AdvanceA few days back, we told you about a method that would let you install GBA4iOS, a GBA emulator, on your iPhone without jailbreaking. The method used Apple’s enterprise distribution program, and relied on an enterprise certificate issued to a company called MacBuildServer.

Unsurprisingly, Apple has now revoked that certificate for violating the terms of Apple’s enterprise iOS development program, which is actually meant for in-house app distribution.

From MacBuildServer’s blog:

Yesterday someone from Apple called to Serge, our founder and noticed that the enterprise certificate registered on our company was being used to violate Apple’s agreements.

We were waiting for the moment for too long, and it came. It’s a pity, that since now our service can be used by participants of Apple Developers Program only.

MacBuildServer is a “continuous integration” service for iOS developers that allows them to automate building of iOS apps (.ipa files) from the source code contained in a repository. These apps need to be signed so that they can be installed from a channel other than the App Store. The company earlier let anyone build an ipa file from a git repository using MacBuildServer’s own enterprise certificates, but now this won’t work. Developers would now need to provide their own enterprise certificate to sign apps.

It isn’t clear if those who have already installed GBA4iOS would be able to continue using the app given that the signing certificate has been revoked. According to a StackOverflow post, iOS caches the authenticity of a certificate for a period between 3-7 days, so it’s likely that even if GBA4iOS works right now, it might stop working in the future. Attempts of performing a fresh install of the app failed with an error that said “GBA4iOS” can’t be installed at this time.

Be sure to tell us in the comments below if GBA4iOS continues to work on your iPhone.

Update 1: Borsalino notes that an existing install of GBA4iOS stopped working on the iPod touch.

Update 2: One possible workaround to get an existing install working again is to cut off internet connectivity on your phone by activating Airplane mode, as suggested by Mike in the comments below.