Run, devs! Apple is deleting outdated apps from the App Store

Apparently, Apple is closing in on outdated apps on its store. In recent days, several developers have received emails from the apple company and have been notified that their tools will be deleted from the App Store if they are not updated.

Several app devs such as Robert Kabwe, developer of Protopop Games, revealed part of the document on their social networks. In the case of the Motivoto game, which has not been updated since March 2019, the message was given: update in a month or the app will be removed from the Apple store.

“This app has not been updated in a significant period of time and is scheduled to be removed from sale in 30 days. No action is required for the app to remain available to users who have already downloaded the app. You can keep this app available so that new users can discover it and download it from the App Store if a review update is sent within 30 days.”

In other cases, apps have already started to leave the App Store. Kosta Eleftheriou, developer of the FlickType keyboard for the Apple Watch, said that a version of his app — designed for the visually impaired — had been disabled due to a lack of updates over the past two years.

Critics argue that mobile apps should remain active regardless of age, just like older games that are still playable in video games. Others say the policy is unnecessarily strict on developers and that Apple doesn’t respect the work of independent games.

Another criticized point is that the policy does not seem to be applied equally to everyone. While tools that haven’t been updated for two years have been deleted, apps like Pocket God are still active on the App Store, even though their last update was in mid-2015.

Image: Playback/App Store

Apple requirements

In 2016, the apple company had already announced that it would start removing outdated apps from the App Store and warned of a 30-month deadline to update them. It is uncertain whether the policy has been going on since then or whether the company has only now adopted a rigidity. Apple did not respond to inquiries from the The Verge.

Fact is that this is expressed on the App Store improvements page.

“To make it easier for customers to find great apps that meet their needs, we want to ensure that the apps available on the App Store are functional and up to date. We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer work as expected, do not follow current review guidelines, or are out of date.

Apple App Store Awards

Image: Disclosure/Apple

It’s also unclear what Apple considers an outdated app. Doubts are raised as to whether this label refers to the time elapsed since a tool was last updated or whether it is about compatibility with newer versions of iOS.

In any case, the reports gain traction just days after the Google Play Store announced that it will limit the visibility of apps that “do not target an API level within two years of the latest major version of Android”. In this case, developers have until November 1st for updates, but there is a possibility to extend the deadline for another six months.

Whether in the short or long term, it’s clear that outdated apps will become less and less accessible to users. And that the devs will need extra attention to avoid removals, either by Apple or Google.

Via: The Verge

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