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Apple Cracks Down On Outdated Apps By Wiping Them Out From The App Store

Apple is on a mission to remove outdated apps that haven’t received an update in a really long time.

The tech giant has begun its crackdown, which was recently unveiled through a recent screenshot of an email generated to developers in this regard. The email’s subject heading was ‘Notice for App Improvement,’ where the tech giant warned about the decision.

The warning was bold and clear-cut regarding how it was now giving a 30-day period to respective developers to note the change and prepare for their updates.

Apple mentioned how the app could only stay if there was an ‘update review’ submitted within a duration of one month. However, those developers who fail to do so would have their apps removed immediately from sales.

It should be remembered that although the app will be removed from Apple’s App Store, those users that already have it installed on their devices will not be affected as a part of the company's improvement system.

But the news was not taken too well by plenty of app makers who made their reservations on the matter public.

One notable complaint came from Robert Kabwe, who is a games developer for Protopop. He felt the change was not justified and it made him feel sick. He put up his feedback on the incident through a Twitter post where he claimed the tech giant threatened to eliminate a fully functional app called Motivoto because of no update since 2019.

Similarly, a complaint was filed by FlickType Apple Watch, Kosta Eleftheriou. He pointed out in a recent tweet how unfair it was for Apple to remove an app he created for the visually impaired, only because of no update in two years.

But that was just the start of a long list of other app developers who voiced their concern on the matter, calling out the tech giant. Moreover, they expressed how certain projects don’t need updates as they were completed years ago.

The company tried to respond to the comments coming in on its Improvements page for the App Store. Here is where they mentioned that they were on the verge of conducting an evaluation process for apps. All those that fell under the outdated category didn’t obey guidelines or were simply not functional had to be removed.

While there was no time stamp seen on the announcement, it’s not quite clear as to when the post was last published by the tech firm. Also, we’re not sure if and when it was last updated.

The tech giant revealed in 2016 how it would begin cracking down on all abandoned apps. Similarly, they mentioned during that period how developers would be given a 30-day period to get the app updated before removal.

Now, years down the line, it’s not exactly clear whether or not the platform has enforced the rule in all these years or not. Similarly, it’s interesting to note how the company hasn’t clearly defined what it means by outdated.

Is it related to the time duration since its last update or whether or not it has to do with compatibility in terms of the latest iOS version?

The news has ignited a new debate with critics who believe the policy of apps on the App Store should remain, regardless of age. On the other hand, there are plenty of others who feel this policy is very stringent on developers who work on projects for years, only to have them removed in the blink of an eye.

Recently, we saw Google’s Play Store announce something similar where apps that don’t fulfill a particular API level in two years or so would have their visibility reduced.

For now, we know that Android developers have been allotted until November of this year to update their apps and in case they can’t, they can apply for another 6-month long extended period.


H/T: TheVerge.

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