Apple may be cracking down on applications that haven’t been updated in a while. Apple warns developers that their apps will be withdrawn from the App Store if they haven’t been updated in a long time. The deadline for developers to update their apps is 30 days.
In the email, Apple says, “Submitting an update for approval in 30 days will keep this app available for new consumers to find and download.” “The app will be removed from sale if no update is provided in 30 days.” Old apps will be removed from the App Store, but they will remain on users’ devices.
Robert Kabwe, the developer of Protopop Games, has expressed concern about the transition. Due to a lack of updates since March, Kabwe alleges Apple is threatening to erase his fully functional game Motivoto.
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Meanwhile, the designer of the FlickType Apple Watch keyboard, Kosta Eleftheriou, claimed that Apple withdrew a visually impaired version of his app since it hadn’t been updated in two years. Despite its last update in 2015, the once-popular Pocket God app is still available on the App Store, according to Eleftheriou’s tweet. Emilia Lazer’s previous Walker’s games will also be removed from the App Store “a few” times. Several other programmers claim they haven’t had time to update their work.
According to Apple’s App Store Improvements website, “we are deleting apps that no longer work as intended, don’t satisfy current review requirements, or are outdated.” Because the website lacks a timestamp, it’s impossible to tell when Apple posted or changed the statement. Apple did not respond to The Verge’s request for comment.
In 2016, Apple stated that it would remove abandoned apps from the App Store. Developers were also given 30 days to update their programs before they were taken down. It’s unclear if Apple has regularly enforced this ban or has only recently begun to do so. Apple also doesn’t define “outdated,” whether it’s the time since an app was last updated or whether it’s compatible with the most recent iOS version.
Mobile apps, according to critics, should stay available indefinitely, just as old video games should be playable on consoles. Some criticize the strategy as being too severe on indie developers and disrespectful of their efforts.
Google Play announced earlier this month that apps that “don’t target an API level within two years of the most recent major Android release version” will be prohibited. Developers of Android apps have until November 1st, 2022 to upgrade their apps, but they can request a six-month extension. Some developers, particularly small businesses, may find it difficult to keep up with the major app stores’ assault on obsolete apps.