1/21/2010 UPDATE: It’s gone again.
For a brief period of time last year, iDOS brought a vintage operating system into the modern age of mobile computing. The DOS emulator app appeared in Apple’s iTunes App Store back in October and disappeared just as quickly.
IDOS is now back in the App Store, minus one controversial feature. The original release of the app allowed users to install and run a range of executable files (.exe) within the program. That feature came close to turning iPhones and iPads into full-fledged PCs. At least one user reported being able to install and run Windows 3.0 using the app. Of course, Apple frowns on those sorts of shenanigans and the app was pulled not long after its debut.
The newly released version of iDOS does away with the ability to transfer .exe files into the program via an iTunes file-sharing feature. To make up for the loss, the developers of iDOS included six classic shareware games, including the titles Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem and Major Stryker.
Users won’t have to worry about manually typing out commands to start the games, the new iDOS app includes a launcher that makes accessing titles much easier than it ever was with a DOS prompt (no “CD dukenukem” necessary). However, if you really want to relive the experience, there’s still an option to load the DOS emulator and run games the old fashioned way.
Users who have the original release of iDOS on their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad may want to avoid updating, lest they forfeit some of iDOS’s controversial — and now excluded — features. Although, for some the chance to play Duke Nukem may be well worth it.
If you do update, or if you just downloaded the new version, Touch Arcade points out there may still be a way to restore iDOS’ ability to install and run a range of .exe files — and it doesn’t involve jailbreaking.