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The World Ends With You blocks iPad despite Apple's rules prohibiting that

08-28-2012, 12:48 PM
#1
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 355
The World Ends With You blocks iPad despite Apple's rules prohibiting that

This was already posted in the game thread, but people were feeling this discussion was eclipsing discussion regarding the gameplay so I've moved the discussion.

Someone mentioned in the comments to the latest front page The World Ends With You story that the iPhone version prevents running on iPad by checking for the camera flash.

This has since been confirmed by user Shero89 here by checking the iTunes plist embedded in the installation package; it lists "Camera Flash" as a compatibility requirement even though the app doesn't use the camera.

http://forums.toucharcade.com/showpo...&postcount=452

This is not allowed by Apple's Dev License Agreement.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/57624048/i...ent-2011-06-06

Quote:
3.3.5 An Application must have at least the same features and functionality when run by a user in compatibility mode on an iPad (e.g., an iPhone app running in an equivalent iPhone-size window on an iPad must perform in substantially the same manner as when run on the iPhone;provided that this obligation will not apply to any feature or functionality that is not supported by a particular hardware device, such as a video recording feature on a device that does not have a camera). Further, You agree not to interfere or attempt to interfere with the operation of Your Application in compatibility mode.
That's a 2011 license, but I've confirmed with a developer friend it's still in the current license as well.

It turns out that if you run the iPhone version on an iPad 3 by modding the .ipa to remove the compatibility requirement, it looks almost as good as the iPad version. No surprise there, since the 960x640 art is only a little smaller than the 1024x768 art on the iPad-native version, and the UI isn't fundamentally different.

The lockout seems to be a ploy by Square-Enix to make sure you can't do that, thereby making sure that if you do want to play the app on both devices, you have to pay $38 and not $18.

I'm feeling ripped off.

The problem is that one of the sales pitches around the iPad is that iPhone apps are compatible. More specifically, it's that having to buy an iPad version should be a user choice, not a developer choice, and rules plainly exist to keep that sales pitch intact.

Square-Enix has apparently chosen not to play by those rules, and it's the customer that's been hurt. If they aren't held to those rules, other companies will do the same, and a fundamental reason I spent hundreds of dollars on my tablet will be compromised.

To be clear, this is not about being Universal. No developer is required to release a universal app. This is about being tablet-compatible. They are required to release a tablet-compatible app. This is not Android, where we have to worry whether each separate app will run on all our devices; this is iOS, where we're all but guaranteed that we can. It's a basic platform quality issue.

So I'm posting here, because nobody else is really talking about this.

What do you all think?

Last edited by geoelectric; 08-28-2012 at 01:12 PM.
08-28-2012, 12:59 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 158
I fully agree. There is NO dispute, nothing to NOT agree with. I hope they are held accountable for this, and make changes to fix it. I have an iPad, my wife, an iPhone. I was going to buy her this game, and went to do just that, from the iPhone version link. When I found this was not possible, I became confused. The game was out, multiple people verified this. Why couldnt I find it? Hmm. Investigate, read TA, oh what's this? I cannot but their game on my iPad? Well, I'm not buying it twice. And now, I'm not buying it once.

08-28-2012, 01:19 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,250
I don't have an iPad or even an iPhone that wil run TWEWY, but I completely agree with this. I sympathize when people complain or wish that an app was Universal to play on both devices, but understand if a dev can't make that happen. But when an iPhone version can't even be run in 2X mode (or whatever it is, again I don't have an iPad), that feels like a blow below the belt.

Square Enix has been one of the few companies that's stuck to its guns about releasing games at premium prices with the upcoming FF: Dimensions being $29 for all its content. I'm fine with that. In fact, I think it's good that a company is confident that it can sell games at that price as it can help increase the quality of games on the iOS overall.

But "premium" pricing is a totally different story than trying to force iOS owners to buy two different versions of the same game. As you mention, one of the appeals of the iPad is that you can play your iPhone/iPod Touch games on it.
08-28-2012, 01:19 PM
#4
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Brazil
Posts: 880
WhatsApp does not run in the iPad either, it's the only application I can think of with similar behavior. But maybe Apple let them slide since it's basically the most popular messaging app in various platforms.

GameCenter: *kioshi*
Gameloft: kioshi
08-28-2012, 01:32 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by kioshi View Post
WhatsApp does not run in the iPad either, it's the only application I can think of with similar behavior. But maybe Apple let them slide since it's basically the most popular messaging app in various platforms.
In the case of WhatsApp, it's supposedly because it requires telephony and, more specifically, your phone number. That doesn't seem to be technically true, but it's probably enough to get the pass.

In the case of TWEWY, Squeenix has claimed it requires hardware it doesn't actually require. That's completely out of bounds.

I play lots of games, especially async ones. You can add me on GC: geoelectric
08-28-2012, 01:35 PM
#6
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,250
Actually, reading the main thread, while I agree with the mentality here that the iPhone version should be able to run on an iPad, I'm starting to think that it's possible that SquareEnix did the "camera flash" requirement mainly to restrict all iPod Touch and the 3GS from being able to play it. I think some devs are using this as the "easy way out" to prevent compaints from older device users.

One thing I understand from devs is that they can't specifically list what devices an app will or won't work on. They can just restrict it based on device hardware (like the camera flash, retina, etc.). I've seen a LOT of apps lately that list the 3GS, for example, in the requirements, but then if you read the description there's a disclaimer that it won't work on the 3GS or iPod Touch 3G. This causes a lot of problems, as even I was bit once or twice, because people are able to download the app to their device, but then it won't work. The Requirements are the only thing that does or doesn't prevent an app from downloading. Obviously, whatever a dev puts in the description is not going to do anything except warn people smart enough to read the descriptions.

Anyway, I can't say for sure if that's what happened in this case. But I think Apple itself doesn't have a very effective system of limiting apps from running on specific devices (performance wise).

So this could just be an oversight by SE or they could have done it on purpose, I don't know.
08-28-2012, 01:58 PM
#7
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by awp69 View Post
Actually, reading the main thread, while I agree with the mentality here that the iPhone version should be able to run on an iPad, I'm starting to think that it's possible that SquareEnix did the "camera flash" requirement mainly to restrict all iPod Touch and the 3GS from being able to play it. I think some devs are using this as the "easy way out" to prevent compaints from older device users.

One thing I understand from devs is that they can't specifically list what devices an app will or won't work on. They can just restrict it based on device hardware (like the camera flash, retina, etc.). I've seen a LOT of apps lately that list the 3GS, for example, in the requirements, but then if you read the description there's a disclaimer that it won't work on the 3GS or iPod Touch 3G. This causes a lot of problems, as even I was bit once or twice, because people are able to download the app to their device, but then it won't work. The Requirements are the only thing that does or doesn't prevent an app from downloading. Obviously, whatever a dev puts in the description is not going to do anything except warn people smart enough to read the descriptions.

Anyway, I can't say for sure if that's what happened in this case. But I think Apple itself doesn't have a very effective system of limiting apps from running on specific devices (performance wise).

So this could just be an oversight by SE or they could have done it on purpose, I don't know.

So, if you look here, for example:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dodonpachi-blissful-death/id486756858?mt=8

...you'll see that the Requirements list excludes iPhone 3GS and before, while allowing 2nd and 3rd-gen iPad. In fact, modulo the iPad block and iPod Touch 4G, this is the exact compatibility list of TWEWY.

So if I were going to be charitable, they may have done this just to block iPod Touch 4G. However, they *had* to know this also blocked iPad, and that's explicitly disallowed from the license. It's also suspiciously rather financially advantageous for them.

At the end of the day, I don't care if they thought they were in the right. This isn't a Square-Enix is evil thing. I love their games; I own double-digits copies of their games across almost every platform I have.

But they did break the rules in a way that stepped on us, and I don't think we should just let it go. So it's about that.

I play lots of games, especially async ones. You can add me on GC: geoelectric

Last edited by geoelectric; 08-28-2012 at 02:02 PM.
08-28-2012, 04:55 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,269
Yes, I think that you can change that to false without any problems, but doing that probably won't make the game playable on your iPod. Anyway, you don't have anything to lose:
<key>appleId</key>
<string>steve@rim.jobs</string>
08-28-2012, 05:06 PM
#9
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 355
Someone in the iPhone game thread mentioned they modded the .ipa and installed on their iPad 3, and it played very well. Everyone who's installed onto a Touch 4G has said it crashes a ton.

So short answer, yes, you can mod the .ipa and install. It'll work on iPad 3 and likely iPad 2.

The .ipa is signed, btw--instructions I found elsewhere suggested that if you pull out the .plist, modify it, and drop it back in the original .ipa you can install the modded version without jailbreaking. If you unzip and rezip the whole thing, it will not install as the signature will be invalidated.

To do that, rename the .ipa to .zip and use standard zip tools to extract the .plist and replace it directly inside the .zip file, then rename back to .ipa.

ObWarning: I haven't tried this myself. I only have the iPad version (mostly because the iPhone version was incompatible. :|)

I play lots of games, especially async ones. You can add me on GC: geoelectric
08-28-2012, 05:08 PM
#10
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 355
Weird, btw, that the iPhone version doesn't specify gyroscope. The iPad version does. They probably used that to exclude the iPad 1, but I think the game actually *does* require that--some pins work by shaking.

I play lots of games, especially async ones. You can add me on GC: geoelectric