Apple will be removing outdated apps from the App Store, particularly those which have not been updated for a significant amount of time.
Apple has sent the App Improvement Notice email to all affected developers. It mentioned that Apple will allow developers to keep such apps available on its platform as long as they submit an update for review in 30 days. Failing to do so, the app will be removed from sale. After Apple removes the outdated apps from the App Store, any previously downloaded apps will remain on users’ devices.
The email is not welcomed by many developers, for instance, Protopop Games developer Robert Kabwe in a tweet said, Apple is threatening his game, “Motivoto,” since it has not been updated since March 2019.
FlickType Apple Watch keyboard developer, Kosta Eleftheriou, stated that Apple took down a version of his app because it has not been updated in two years. Pocket God, a game that has been around since 2015, continues to remain available despite it not being updated since 2015.
Many developers are not happy with Apple’s decisions and have expressed their reactions on Twitter. According to them, they have not been given sufficient time to update apps, while some apps exist as “completed objects.” Thus don’t require an update or a live service model.
According to the App Store Improvements page, the company is trying to make it easy for customers to find apps that fit their needs. They want to ensure all apps available on App Store are functional and updated. An ongoing process of evaluating apps has been implemented, this will remove nonfunctional apps and those that don’t follow the review guidelines mentioned, or are outdated.
Apple is known to remove apps that are not updated earlier as well, though it is not clear if this policy has been continuously or consistently enforced. Also, it is not clear what Apple means when it determines “a significant amount of time” and does it relates to compatibility with the latest version of iOS or time elapsed since the last update.