This is an interesting development. Manomio went though all of the App Store hurdles to get the C64 app approved over the past months. This included all of the complex licensing issues and slicing out one of the coolest features, the BASIC interpreter, that a lot of us had our first programming experience on.
It turns out, it wasn’t sliced out, but just covered, only to be revealed by an undocumented easter egg-type hack.
If you’re dying to get your BASIC on, however, reader Stooovie let us know you can still access it by enabling “always show full keyboard”, starting a game, paging over to the EXTRA keyboard, and then tapping RESET. Boom, dropped into BASIC with a ready-prompt…
As soon as Apple got wind of this (last night), it was pulled from the App Store.
The developer is saying that they never intended for this to be revealed, that it was put there in anticipation of Apple, at some future time, allowing them to open up the BASIC functionality. They’d activate this functionality remotely. Manomio at C64iPhone.com has this to say:
Unfortunately Apple this night pulled the C64 App from the App Store. We had agreed with Apple to remove basic from the application, but as we believed it would be possible to convince Apple to let it in later on, we left it in the app to be activated remotely by us when we had “go” from Apple.
Due to the extreme publicity the app has received over the weekend and the fact that several users found a way to enable the basic back, Apple decided to remove the app from App Store until we have solved the issue.
This is very frustrating as we had no intention of tricking basic into the app and the fix was done in a few minutes the moment we found out – a new version has been submitted to Apple, and we can only hope Apple will appreciate our efforts to apply the changes they need in order to put it back on.
We have a feeling Apple isn’t going to be in any hurry to get this app back onto the App Store. Also, how many other approved apps have secret back door functionality that can be enabled remotely?