Apple to the developers: If we’ve deleted your old app, it deserves it
Recently, Several developers complained about how Apple threatened to remove its apps from the App Store because they hadn’t been updated in “a significant amount of time”. Now the company has responded – by issuing a press release effectively saying that no one is downloading the apps anyway.
The announcement published on Friday evening reads in part:
As part of the App Store improvement process, developers of apps that have not been updated in the last three years and do not meet a minimum download threshold will d — receive an email notifying them that their app is up for possible removal identified from the App Store.
We’ve heard about these emails before – last week, like developers Robert Kawe and Emilia Lazer-Walker reported receiving them and expressed concern that they had 30 days to update their apps or they would be removed from the store. Other developers shared similar experiences on Twitter, saying the policy and the time they were given to make changes was unfair to indie developers.
They also raised deeper concerns that Apple decided to delete an entire class of apps because it believes they don’t belong in its Store. Lazer-Walker argued that ending games should be allowed and can still be valuable without being a service. Kabwe voiced a similar idea, pointing out that you can still buy console games from the 2000s. To put the argument another way, Apple’s removal of these apps is a bit like removing movies from the iTunes Store just because they show up with black bars on modern TVs (although I understand that interpreting a video signal is less complicated than running code). .
Sometimes software is finished. I know the world is forever waiting for growth, change and improvement (for free), but sometimes the software is ready and shipped, and that’s the end of the story.
Old and stable are not error states. On the contrary – they indicate success. https://t.co/ELEzf1jjOj
— arc light (@arc light) April 24, 2022
Apple’s explanation clarifies why, as some developers noted, it appeared to be applying the rules inconsistently. For example, one developer noticed that pocket god, a popular game from the early days of the iPhone, hasn’t been updated in seven years but is still available on the App Store. Apple is basically saying it’s still on the market because it’s still popular.
From a certain angle, this reasoning doesn’t necessarily line up with the first half of Apple’s post, which states that old apps are being removed to ensure “user trust in quality apps” and to protect discoverability, security and privacy, and the user experience to enhance. Finally – if an app is problematic because it is outdated, more downloads would make a bad app a bigger problem. Who cares if there’s an outdated app that almost nobody downloads?
But Apple says it doesn’t want the App Store to be cluttered with apps that both developers and users have forgotten. It has enough problems This makes it easy for users to find good apps, and it’s easy to imagine Apple seeing deleting old, seemingly irrelevant apps as a good solution.
While Apple’s contribution may feel like a slap in the face to developers worried about losing something they’ve put real time and effort into, the company is extending a tiny olive branch. His post states that anyone who receives a notification from now on — and those who have already received a notification — will have 90 days instead of 30 to update their app before it’s removed. While this should make it easier for developers to save their apps, it doesn’t make the programs “exist as finished objects,” as Lazer-Walker put it. Apple only seems interested in finished objects that still attract attention.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/29/23049576/apple-outdated-apps-removal-extension-90-days Apple to the developers: If we’ve deleted your old app, it deserves it