Apple has issued warning that the company will remove from the App Store apps that have not been updated in a significant amount of time.
Apple may be tightening down on programmes that haven’t received any updates in a long time. Apple tells impacted developers in an email titled “App Improvement Notice” that it will remove programmes from the App Store if they haven’t been updated in “a significant amount of time,” and gives them only 30 days to do so.
“By submitting an update for review in 30 days, you can keep this app available for new people to find and download from the App Store,” Apple adds in the email. “The app will be removed from sale if no update is provided in 30 days.” While Apple will delete old apps from the App Store, users’ devices will retain any previously downloaded apps.
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Meanwhile, Apple said in 2016 that it would begin deleting outdated apps from the App Store. It also stated at the time that developers would have 30 days to update their app before it was taken down. However, it’s uncertain whether Apple has consistently enforced this restriction over time, or if it has only lately begun to do so.
Apple also doesn’t specify what constitutes “outdated” application, whether it’s based on the amount of time since an app was last updated or compatibility with the most recent version of iOS.
Critics of the policy believe that mobile apps should be available regardless of their age, similar to how old video games can still be played on consoles. Others argue that the regulation is overly harsh on creators and that Apple does not fully appreciate the work that goes into indie games.