Apple is about to start removing apps from the iOS App Store if they haven’t received updates in the past three years, the company has confirmed.
The consumer tech giant said the developers of smartphone apps that have not been updated during this time will receive a E-mail letting them know that their app has been flagged for removal from the Application store.
Apps that have not been downloaded at all, or only very few times, over a rolling twelve month period will also be flagged for deletion.
The new rules may be strict, but developers who forgot their creations will have time to appeal the decision to remove their apps, Apple said in a statement. statement. They will also have up to 90 days to update their apps, from the time the removal notice is sent.
App Store Policy Change
The move comes after Apple took steps to remove apps that haven’t been optimized for newer versions of iOS from the App Store. However, this is the first time that Apple has removed fully functional apps.
The movement to change App store policy has caused the ire of many developers within the community. Toronto-based game developer Em Lazer-Walker publicly criticized the decision, saying on Twitter that: “Games can exist as finished objects!”
“These free projects are not suitable for updates or a live service model, they are finished works of art from years ago,” she added.
However, Apple has claimed multiple benefits for users and developers, including the ability to more easily find apps that meet their needs when outdated apps are no longer on the App Store.
Additionally, Apple claimed that the move will also strengthen security and privacybecause its hardware and software are constantly changing and it frequently updates the tools it provides to developers.
“This helps us ensure apps work for the vast majority of users and support our latest security and privacy innovations,” an Apple spokesperson said. “Over the past six years, we’ve removed nearly 2.8 million apps as part of this process.”
User experience was touted as another benefit of the redesign, and Apple said the change will help keep apps up-to-date and compliant with modern screen sizes, SDKs, APIs and other features offered on iOS. , iPadOS and macOS.
Apple isn’t the only tech giant taking steps to ensure apps plugged into its ecosystem are in step with the latest iteration of its operating system. Google recently introduced a requirement that means new apps and app updates must target an Android API level within one year of the latest major Android OS release.
New apps and app updates that do not meet this requirement will not be eligible for publication on Google Play.