GBA4iOS returns following Nintendo takedown

By , May 23, 2014

GBA4iOS iPhone iPad

Less than a few weeks after receiving a takedown notice from Nintendo of America, iOS developer Riley Testut has made his popular Gameboy Advance emulator GBA4iOS available for download again. An updated version of the emulator is now available through the official GBA4iOS website, which came back online just moments ago. Testut confirmed the news on Twitter in a recent tweet… 

GBA4iOS has been modified to comply with Nintendo’s copyright concerns outlined in its official DMCA complaint. The biggest change involves the in-app web browser, which now links to the Google homepage instead of directly to the CoolROM website for downloading ROMs. GBA4iOS 2.0.4 should now be compliant with this portion of the takedown notice — full text — in particular:

“This web site hosts a downloadable mobile application for iOS that provides users with access to unauthorized and illegal copies of Nintendo’s copyright-protected video games in violation of Nintendo’s exclusive rights. Users can download the infringing application by clicking one of the ‘Download GBA4iOS’ buttons on the web site.”

Testut and his partner Paul Thorsen also worked to remove other minor copyright-infringing aspects of the app, including the use of Gameboy Advance logos in certain controller skins. A number of bug fixes were also made. The duo will now shift their focus back to the upcoming GBA4iOS 2.1 update, which will have an improved visual design and other new features.

GBA4iOS 2.1

For those interested in learning more, Testut recently published a lengthy article on his personal blog to explain the GBA4iOS and Nintendo situation in detail. In particular, the 18-year-old high school student stresses that Nintendo is a good company that was simply looking to protect its intellectual property. He takes fault for linking to CoolROM, a website that distributes ROMs, in the in-app web browser.

You can download GBA4iOS 2.0.4 from the official emulator website.

Are you excited that GBA4iOS has returned?

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  • Sekelani

    is this updated to 7.1.1

    • onesimpleclickk

      it is working on my 4S running 7.1.1

  • onesimpleclickk

    sweet (: time to get my GBA fix haha

  • jack

    is there a Genesis emulator for non-jailbroken devices?

    • Go to from Safari directly on your iOS device. You should be able to install the Sega Genesis emulator called MD without needing to jailbreak.

      • jack


      • Mark Babatunde

        Hi Mr. Rossingnol,
        Just out of curiosity, how did you become a writer for iDB? Any chance they would allow a teen to write for them?

  • David Gitman

    YES ty

  • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

    Yet this is for playing pirated games. The jailbreak community is confused.

    • Emulation is legal within the United States, and I’m sure in several other jurisdictions as well. If you are downloading a ROM for a game that you do not own, then, yes, you are most likely violating Nintendo’s copyright. But there are legal uses for emulators and users can make that choice for themselves.

      • Andy

        It’s technically illegal even if you download a ROM for a game you own. It’s only legal if you ripped the game’s ROM yourself as a backup. But who cares, everyone downloads them.

      • Yeah, you’re right.

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        You just completely ignored what I said. It is used to play pirated games. What is the use of this emulator? To play games. Where do you get these games from? CoolRom and other pirated sites. UTorrent Vuze and such are used to download illegal files and to P2P but doesn’t mean the program itself is illegal. The developer of gbaios even linked app to a pirated site for games that is how you get the illegal games. Doesn’t mean gbaios is illegal just the in app that they remove. But still even after removal people are going to use pirated sites for Roms like Pokemon and stuff. Jailbreak community always talking about they hate pirates but yet they pirate games but because you use a emulator that isn’t illegal that makes it right to still download games to play it on ?

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        “…yet they pirate games but because you use a emulator that isn’t illegal
        that makes it right to still download games to play it on ?”

        There’s a difference between pirating something that’s readily available and pirating something that is not available. When you pirate something that is on the market for reasonable prices such as jailbreak tweaks this is wrong due to the fact that developers are losing out on sales. When you pirate something that is no longer available to purchase and if it is available to purchase not in the digital format you require it might be illegal to download the games but it certainly isn’t immoral.

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        It’s illegal and bad. So next time download Titanic and send the rightful owners a message you downloaded their movie and see what they tell you. Their is no way you can justify piracy no matter what degree. You support the developers regardless jailbreak or game or music. Everyone deserves money for their hardwork.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        What about the deceased? Surely the copyright laws would allow the media produced by someone who has died to fall into the public domain should it not? No wait I forgot the rights holders deserve money from every sale so they can buy another yacht this year. If these people deserve so much money why can’t I legally buy roms? I don’t care what you or the law states in my mind and anyone with a decent morale compasses mind it is not illegal to download something that isn’t available to purchase. If for some reason you are unable to dissect this correctly or do so selectively then it is clear that you represent an elitist company of sorts in which case just grow up and adapt to the twenty first century rather than acting like a dinosaur for rest of your life.

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        Even if they are dead you still can’t steal their work! Are you this naive? You’re really trying to bring in morals which you are using the opposite of it. You’re a pirate deal with it better yet ask DMCA and talk about the stuff we talked about so they can give you a more in depth on your stupidity. If a artist dies and his work isn’t obtainable in vinyl does one go and find a blank and try copying it? No you can’t without the proper permission. If they say no(record company or who is left with his/or her rights) you have to respect it and leave it alone . But seriously go down to a copyright place ans chat with them so they can hopefully bring you back to the light. I heard of arguments but this one is maybe my top 5 stupidest arguments. You’re really trying to defend piracy. You must be somewhere where they don’t care about this. Can’t get it? Tough luck go buy the proper equipment to use it and stop being a thief .

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        How is this stupid. You are telling me it is unacceptable to pirate work that is not for sale? Furthermore it’s not even stealing! If I write some binary code and you write the same binary code nothing is stolen right? You still have your copy of the zeros and ones and so do I. In addition to this if I change one bit of those zeros and ones the md5sum could change drastically. What you are referring to is straight out theft not what I’m referring to. How an earth can an industry can go about suing people and filing DMCA claims when their products aren’t being offered correctly I’ll never know…

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        After reading the first part of your thing this discussion is over your clearly confused. You seriously have issues like I said go down to the law firm

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        “After reading the first part of your thing this discussion is over”

        Lol. Discussions are only over when the topic of said discussions is no longer being discussed. I know the law and I’m sure you do too except that is not the point I have been trying emphasise. The point I’ve been trying to emphasise is that despite what the law may state the law is wrong and outdated. It is inhumane to prosecute people for ‘illegally’ downloading something that is not available to purchase (this is why you never see any prosecutions of this nature). Copyright law is outdated and not fit for the twenty first century. If for some reason that means I have issues then so be it since I know there are millions (perhaps billions) of other people that agree with me…

      • I am Error.

        Oh, Dear Lord, you’re still going.
        You need a hobby. Badly.
        Have you considered running? In traffic?

      • I am Error.

        Chill out, Narc.
        I’ve been gaming since 1985 and if it undoes your panties a bit please know I own physical copies of every ROM I download.
        It CAN be used legally to play games we already own. It just permits us to do so on new devices.
        have a 3DS. I love it. The 3DS does offer classic games through their
        Virtual Console service but Nintendo has not and will not release GBA
        titles for the 3DS outside of the initial Ambassador titles. Also,
        Nintendo does not and will not develop smartphone apps. They’ve said
        this many times.
        Apps like this are the ONLY way to play GBA titles
        on a smartphone device. For the love of God, stop complaining. We’re
        not all vicious pirates and in the end the goal is retro game

      • Alex

        There are legally created ROMs, so it’s use is not solely for playing illegally obtained ROMs.
        FYI, coolroms also stores legally created ROMs.
        Your analogies are the equivalent of “Guns are only used to kill people. Why do you buy a gun? To kill a person.” Which is completely inaccurate. Similar to how P2P ALSO has legally shared files. You will ALWAYS be able to find a way that people use a device for illegal purposes, that doesn’t mean they aren’t used in legal manners. File Hosting services for that matter like dropbox are also illegal file sharing services.

      • Chun-Li aka ThunderThighs

        True but all games made paid and distributed in stores are what people play 98% of the time. CoolRom is filled with too mainstream games that are pirated illegally. Don’t act like CoolRom is a safe haven. And the difference from file sharing sites and Coolrom is that Coolrom doesn’t remove pirated Roms thus acting like a pirate site while file sharing sites like Dropbox, Mediafire aren’t illegal as they comply with the law and DMCA takedown notices to remove digital content that is copyright infringement. Does CoolRom does that? No. Elsewise CoolRom would have been gone years ago. Why else you think they self host the files on a different domain and server?

  • Martin

    Does not want to install on my 5s running 7.1.1

    • onesimpleclickk

      Make sure you set your date back by one day, then try again.
      If that doesn’t work then, I don’t know.

    • Jeremy

      It says on the website you must set your date back to a certain date in February. Not sure which one but make sure to check out their website for troubleshooting issues

    • Rafi Zhong

      set date to or befor 18th feb 2014

      • Martin

        Just so you guys know, I only set the date back 2 days and it worked fine after that.

  • I am quite impressed that this article uses an ellipsis (…) instead of three periods (…).

    • OS X tip of the day: if you have a Mac, type Option + ; and you’ll get an ellipsis (…).

  • Prathik Nair

    So no Lets Talk Jailbreak this week?

  • Johan Ong

    because of the app allowing me to play fire red again, i went and bought a 3ds along with a copy of pokemon y just to get another fix 🙂 nintendo should be thanking them!!

  • AnArcticMonkey

    Is this safe? When I go to open the app I get the message: are you sure you want to open the Application “GBA4iOS” from the developer “iPhone Distribution: ChinaVDI Beijing Technology”. Not being xenophobic here, just wondering if I downloaded the correct version from the right developer, or to see if someone received a similar message.

  • ClaudieX X

    I’m having problems sending the rom to Dropbox on my iPhone 5s v7.1.1. Inside the emulator I go to c…roms with the inapp web navigator and when I press download to Dropbox button , it opens the web interface of Dropbox, I choose the folder and when I press download it… Nothing happens, the Dropbox web interface button highlight when I press it… But nothing.
    Someone else with the same problem?

    • Jeremy

      DropBox is only used to backup your saved game files and not for the ROMs themselves. You press download now and the games will be downloaded directly into your app.

      • ClaudieX X

        ahh ok…, i tried another thing… if you enter C…roms web page with your pc and manually send them to Dropbox… then when you open Dropbox on your iOS device and click the rom… you can open it on GBAiOS… Not perfect, but working 😀
        Now you have the saves and the roms…


    That’s ma boy 🙂

  • Sekelani

    Im using the iPhone 5s, would it work on it?

    • Mark Babatunde

      I believe it should. I don’t see why not

    • Tom

      Yes, it will. I currently have it on mine running ios7.1. There shouldn’t be a problem with the newer version.

  • Donovan

    Why do we have to set the date back when we open the Emulator (after a reboot)?
    Not complaining, just curious.

    • Mark Babatunde

      I believe it’s something to do with the installed profile. Not exactly sure, but you could always check his twitter/blog for explanations

  • Mark Babatunde

    This is somewhat unrelated, but are there any emulators that you guys would like to see? I want to create an emulator for iOS devices this summer, but I don’t know which one people need or want an improved version of a current one available. If you have another idea for an iOS app, please leave a comment under this message. Thanks guys!

    • I am Error.

      I’d love to see an NES emulator with an interface like the one gba4ios uses. Everything about it is just perfect.

  • I am Error.

    I’m loving this app! Quick question. Is iCade Mobile supported in this new version? I didn’t see it listed in the FAQ and received a vacation message when e-mailing the official webpage.

    Great work! This is just amazing. Is there any way to download gba4ios multiple times to use with other emulators? Mine gets rewritten if I try this. Again, amazing job! I’m loving this app.

  • I am Error.

    Having a tough time finding an iOS 7 bluetooth controller that ALSO works with iPhone 4S. Reviews are pretty conflicting. Any suggestions? I’m told this version does not support the iPhone 4S product iCade Mobile.

  • illuminati

    “piracy is illegal”
    “piracy is immoral”

    who cares? not me lol
    obviously i know this, but i do it anyway. it’s because i don’t give a crud.
    gays know that wiener is unhealthy and deformed, but they want it anyway lololololol

    if people pirate something then that means it is actually good
    that’s why people don’t pirate country music lol because it sucks arse lolololololololol