The Apple App Store to remove outdated apps

08 January 2019, Hessen, Rüsselsheim: ILLUSTRATION – The App Store (M) logo can be seen on the screen of an iPhone. Photo: Silas Stein/dpa (Photo by Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Apple has sent warning emails to developers saying it will remove apps from its App Store that are outdated, don’t follow current review guidelines, or no longer work as intended.

“Apps in all App Store categories will be reviewed to ensure they work as intended, meet current review guidelines, and aren’t outdated,” the tech giant wrote on a App Store Improvements Support Page. “The App Store team will contact you and ask you to make the necessary changes to keep your app on the App Store. However, apps that crash on launch will be removed from the App Store immediately.”

Developers will have 30 days to submit an update to keep their apps on the App Store before they are removed. Updates made after the deadline will need to be approved for the apps to return to the App Store. Removed apps will continue to be associated with developer accounts and their users will experience no service interruptions and will still be able to make in-app purchases.

Motivoto by Protopop Games is among the apps impacted by the policy.

“I feel sick. Apple just emailed me saying they are removing my free game Motivoto because it is over 2 years old. This is part of their app improvement system,” tweeted Protopop Games developer Robert Kabwe. “It’s not cool. Console games from 2000 are still available for sale. It’s an unfair barrier for independent developers.”

Two developers who received the same email said they had no time to update their old apps, while another argued that the policy was not applied consistentlyciting the Pocket God game remaining on the App Store despite not having received an update since 2015 as an example.

One critic called the policy “completely unbalanced”, while another claims this decision was aimed at retaining “a monopoly on the distribution of mobile applications”. Some have requested that the policy be changed and for Apple to do improved communication with the developers.

The policy was first implemented in 2016. Apple representatives declined to comment.

Apple isn’t the only one making changes. Starting November 1, 2022, the Google Play Store will limit the discovery or installation of existing apps that “do not target an API level within two years of the last major release of Android.”

“Users with the latest devices or those completely caught up in Android updates expect to realize the full potential of all the privacy and security protections Android has to offer,” the director said. of Android Product Management Krish Vitaldevara in a statement. blog post. “Expanding our target-level API requirements will prevent users from installing older apps that may not have these protections in place.”

Android developers who need more time to update their apps can request an optional six-month extension.

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