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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Developer ports emulator to Apple TV Xcode simulator in three hours

Developer ports emulator to Apple TV Xcode simulator in three hours
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MacNN Staff
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Sep 14, 2015, 09:01 AM
A developer may have become the first to create an emulator for the upcoming refreshed Apple TV. James Addyman, developer of the multiplatform-capable Provenance emulator, claims to have ported his software to Apple TV, getting it running within the Apple TV simulator within Xcode in around three hours, strongly suggesting existing iOS app developers will have little trouble with porting their mobile apps to Apple TV and tvOS.

According to iDownloadBlog, the emulator is open source and is viewable on GitHub, with it capable of playing ROMs for the Sega Genesis, Game Gear, Master System and Sega CD, as well as the Nintendo Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, NES, and Super NES consoles. While it is unclear, though highly likely, whether or not Addyman has configured the new Apple TV remote to work with the emulator, he has written on Twitter about issues concerning existing MFi controllers, and the possibility of having to use a tvOS-compatible peripheral instead.

It is probable that the emulator won't be available to download through the Apple TV-dedicated App Store, due to the potential for intellectual property complaints from game developers and publishers. While Xcode 7 does allow for apps to be sideloaded onto iOS devices, it is unknown if the same can be accomplished with the new Apple TV.
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Sep 14, 2015, 04:21 PM
The closing remark raises an interesting issue. Will this new Apple TV be as restrictive about apps being side-loaded as iPads and iPhones? Since it is intended as an entertainment device, there's less reason to keep it inside a carefully guarded and walled garden. And even if it isn't, the far lower price will make users much more willing to jail-break it.
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Mike Wuerthele
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Sep 14, 2015, 04:33 PM
It's still in essence the iOS, so we'll see. Apple historically has taken a dim view of emulators.
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Sep 14, 2015, 07:17 PM
There's no reason not to believe that distribution of software qualified and approved to run on the new Apple TV will be no different from how it currently is on the iPad and iPhone (e.g., through a curated app storefront).

There are several reasons to believe this:

1) Because it's Apple and you damn well know that's how they're going to do it.

2) Because AppleTV runs a device-specific version of iOS (though with the new announcement, it seems like it has been forked [simply a software development term for a modified copy that might go in its own direction, but is a descendant from its parent's code] into its own "TVOS").

3) Because the app store is good and easy money for Apple, whereas side-loading is not.
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