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The App Store Saw A Removal Of 420,000 Individual Applications Between The Months Of April To July

It has recently come to light that approximately 420,000 separate applications have been wiped off of the App Store without a trace, with Apple and its Devs (developers) having provided no public reason.

Of course, when it comes to the App Store, an explanation for why an app has been removed hardly requires any public fanfare. Apps keep dropping in and out all of the time for any number of reasons, and to accompany each separate one with its own public tweet or a video statement from CEO Tim Cook is hardly a practical request to make. Typically, apps disappearing off of an app store such as Google Play or, well, the App Store is due to violations in policy that either aren’t identified until a bit later, or occur due to an update in the community policy that the apps’ Devs don’t adhere to. Typically, Devs can feign ignorance, make the necessary changes and be allowed back up onto the stage with no further harm done.

This recent unwilling exodus of over four hundred thousand individual apps, however, is one that draws a bit more curiosity than the average disappearances that are common for app stores. What suddenly made Apple decided to boot so many Devs off of its incredibly lucrative store service in such a sudden sweep? For those wondering exactly how sudden the change was, analytic firm AppFigures noted the disappearance occurring in between April and July. Even a four-month period still seems too little to justify the number of apps that were booted from the platform. So, exactly what was it that the Devs did to deserve such merciless eviction? While we don’t necessarily have answers to such a question, assumptions and educated guesses are easy enough to make up or come across.

Apple’s Tracking/Transparency features saw active implementation in the end of 2020 and start of 2021, with application developers having been given until January of this year to fix things up on their end. Fixing things up in this context refers to removing any and all unwilling user data extraction that applications participate in. No siphoning cookies, location data, browser history, or anything else of the sort without explicit user consent being provided. Since users would rather obviously not provide such information willy-nilly, Devs had to go back to the drawing board with profit margins for their apps. Third party advertisers were now out of the picture.

What seems likely, more than anything else, is that Apple essentially waited a bit longer for apps to get their act together and, upon failing to do so, started an active campaign of kicking the non-compliant ones out of the Store altogether.


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