Apple may be cracking down on apps that stop receiving updates. In a screenshot email Sent to affected developers with the title “App Improvement Notice,” Apple warns that it will remove apps from the App Store that “haven’t been updated in a while” and only gives developers 30 days to update them.
“You can keep this app available for new users to discover and download from the App Store by submitting an update for review within 30 days,” Apple wrote in the email. “If no update is submitted within 30 days, the app will be withdrawn from sale.” While Apple removes the outdated apps from the App Store, any previously downloaded apps remain on users’ devices.
I feel sick. Apple just sent me an email saying my free game Motivoto will be removed because it’s more than 2 years old.
It’s part of their app improvement system.
That’s not cool. Console games from 2000 are still for sale.
This is an unfair barrier for indie developers. pic.twitter.com/7XNcLfiEcR
— Protopop Games (@protopop) April 23, 2022
A number of app makers, such as Protopop Games developer Robert Kabwe, have expressed concern about the change. Kabwe says on Twitter that Apple is threatening to remove its fully functional game Motivoto because it hasn’t been updated since March 2019.
Meanwhile, Kosta Eleftheriou, the developer of the FlickType Apple Watch keyboard, says apple has shut down a version of its app designed specifically for the visually impaired because it hasn’t been updated in two years. As Eleftheriou points out in his tweet, it was once so popular pocket god app still remains in the App Store despite receiving its last update in 2015. Developer Emilia Lazer-Walker also reported that Apple is removing “a few” of its older games from the App Store. Several Miscellaneous developer share the same experience and realize they just haven’t had the time to update their apps.
.@Apple removed some of my old games because they “haven’t been updated in a while”
Games can exist as finished objects! These free projects do not lend themselves to updates or a live service model, they are finished works of art from years ago. pic.twitter.com/iflH70j7q4
— Emilia ✨ (@lazerwalker) April 23, 2022
On Apple’s App Store Improvements page., the company says: “We implement an ongoing app rating process and remove apps that no longer work as intended, do not meet current rating guidelines, or are out of date.” There is no timestamp on the page, so it’s not immediately clear when Apple published or last updated the post. Apple didn’t immediately respond The edge‘s request for comment.
2016, Apple said it would start removing abandoned apps from the App Store. At the time, it also warned developers that they had 30 days to update their app before it would shut down. However, it’s unclear if Apple has consistently enforced this rule over the years, or if it’s recently started conducting a broader review. Apple also doesn’t make it clear what it considers “deprecated” — whether that’s based on the time that’s passed since an app was last updated, or whether it’s compatibility with the latest version of iOS.
criticism of this guideline argue that mobile apps should remain available regardless of their age, much like old video games remain playable on consoles. Others say politics is unnecessarily harsh on developers, and claim Apple doesn’t fully respect the work that goes into indie games.
Earlier this month, the The Google Play Store also announced that it would limit the visibility of apps that “do not target any API level within two years of the latest major Android release”. Android developers have until November 1, 2022 to update their apps, but also have the option to request a six-month extension if they cannot meet the deadline. With both major app stores cracking down on legacy apps, this could mean some developers, particularly indie studios, struggle to keep up.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/4/23/23038870/apple-app-store-widely-remove-outdated-apps-developers The Apple App Store seems to be largely removing outdated apps