There are times when little nuggets of goodness come and go from the App Store like a shooting star at night--if you don't catch it in the instance, it's gone for good and you're left shuffling your feet in disappointment.
Monday night a full-featured DOS emulator appeared on Apple's App Store for $0.99. Called iDOS, the app was based on DOSbox and offered a virtual PC keyboard, virtual mouse support, virtual floppy drive support, multiple screen modes and more. The app was yanked from the App Store hours later.
Although reasons for its removal weren't provided, Apple previously stated that apps cannot execute code from within. Earlier the Commodore 64 app suffered a similar removal because developer Manomio disabled BASIC rather than remove it altogether, thus users found a way to unlock BASIC and execute programs. Apple re-approved and published the app once Manomino removed the feature.
According to various reports, iDOS worked on iOS 4 devices and allowed users to run DOS-based programs like Spellcasting 101, Space Quest, Sierra's Freddy Pharkas--Frontier Pharmacist, The 7th Guest, and even Blizzard's Warcraft II. One user even installed Windows 3.0 and played Windows Solitaire.
Like C64, the iDOS app may return to the Apps Store with a little modification. Given that Apple has eased up on its approval process, its surprising that the company still didn't see the app's potential to install and launch externally-developed programs. Then again, stripping command-line execution from a DOS app is like taking the windows out of Windows--what's the point?