Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

Apple blocks PC emulators from all iOS app stores, raising concerns over control

What's the point of having third-party app marketplaces if Apple is banning apps that pose no risk?

Published onJune 10, 2024

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max dynamic island angle
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Apple’s app review team has rejected a PC emulator because Windows computers technically do not meet the retro game console criteria.
  • Beyond banning it from its own marketplace, Apple has also refused to notarize the PC emulator for third-party app store compatibility.
  • This raises concerns over Apple’s control and how iOS app developers can’t necessarily resort to third-party app stores to circumvent the company’s unforgiving guidelines.

Through a recent iOS update, Apple unlocked third-party app stores in the EU to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). This has enabled developers to upload apps that don’t necessarily comply with Apple’s strict App Store guidelines to these third-party digital storefronts. Apple, however, still needs to notarize submitted apps to ensure that they pose no risk to iOS or its users. Shockingly, Apple has blocked harmless PC emulator apps from reaching its storefront and won’t notarize them for third-party app store distribution, either.

After two months of evaluation, Apple’s app review team rejected UTM SE, a PC emulator designed for the latest iPhones. The company tweeted about the incident (via 9to5Mac), highlighting that the tech overlord won’t even notarize the emulator for third-party app store distribution.

According to UTM, Apple rejected its submission due to Windows/DOS computers not fitting the retro game console criteria. Furthermore, Apple doesn’t allow just-in-time (JIT) compilers on iOS, which are crucial for UTM’s app to run smoothly on iPhones.

As a result, UTM will stop trying to get its PC emulator on the official and third-party app stores until Apple changes its stance. Those wishing to run the open-source app on their iPhones can continue to do so by compiling it manually in Xcode.

Apple’s app notarization process for third-party marketplaces is supposed to offer “basic protections” against viruses, malware, and other threats to the device’s integrity. Refusing to notarize a harmless, open-source PC emulator for third-party app store distribution reveals Apple’s concerning level of control over iOS. Doesn’t this defeat the entire purpose of third-party app marketplaces?

Got a tip? Talk to us! Email our staff at You can stay anonymous or get credit for the info, it's your choice.

You might like