Apple warns developers that it will removed outdated apps from its App Store
Apple has sent out emails to app developers, who haven't updated their apps for a long time. The Cupertino-based company has informed them that it will remove outdated apps from the App Store.
Apple isn't the only one practicing this, Google has a similar rule in place for apps on its Play Store. The Search giant has given developers a deadline of November 1st, to update their apps to target an Android API level that is less than 2 versions old. Since Android 12 is the latest release, devs will have to set the Android 10 API as the minimum supported version. Android's OS fragmentation however is a different headache.
Indie game developer, Robert Kabwe (Protopop Games), shared a screenshot of an email he received from Apple. The message titled "App Store Improvement Notice" says that developers will have 30 days to update their apps, and submit them for review. If they don't update the app within the given time limit, it will be removed from the App Store. A support page for App Store Improvements, on Apple's website, confirms the existence of the rule, though it remains unclear when it was implemented.
Other app developers have also shared screenshots of a similar email. Some devs claim that there is nothing wrong with their, they work on modern devices, and that updating them on a whim is unnecessary. The Verge points out that this rule seems to be inconsistent, and that some apps and games that haven't been updated in several years, continue to exist on the App Store. For example, Pocket God hasn't received an update since 2015. Apple's own iTunes Movie Trailers app hasn't been updated since 2017. So, the removal of apps from other developers doesn't seem fair, right? You don't see such rules affecting Windows programs, games, or even on gaming consoles.
Why is Apple removing outdated apps from its App Store?
This is purely speculative, but in Apple's defense, outdated apps could result in incompatibility with modern hardware such as a notch in the display, which could hide certain parts or buttons of the app or game, making said app/game unusable. Then there is the possibility of old apps which could contain security vulnerabilities, or result in crashes on newer versions of iOS, etc. There are other aspects that may need to be updated, such as menus in the apps, long-press options, etc, that work with the latest devices.
From a user's perspective, you want everything to work perfectly. Old, broken apps could look bad on Apple's part, users will blame the device, which is something that the company may want to avoid. Apple likely wants developers to use the latest Xcode and iOS SDK for apps and games, to offer the best possible experience for users.
That could be one of the reasons for purging abandonware apps from the Store, I'm not saying that's correct.
App development and support requires a considerable amount of resources. It isn't as simple as clicking a few buttons and saying the job's done. The developers have to analyze the source code, build it using newer engine versions, e.g. Unity. They will then need to test it for compatibility, make changes to the code as necessary, ensure that their app meets the latest standards, before submitting it to Apple for review. The fact that many indie developers may have moved on to other projects, and/or have a daily job, makes it even more difficult for them to update their older work.
Remember when the tech giant ended support for 32-bit apps with the introduction of iOS 11, in 2018? That forced developers to update their apps to target the 64-bit architecture on iPhones, and iPads. This rule resulted in the removal of many old apps and games that could have been preserved.
Do you think Apple should remove apps that haven't been updated for a long time? Which old apps and games do you miss?Advertisement