Apple has given developers have one last chance to do something about iOS apps that haven’t been updated in a while. If some developers don’t update their old apps, they could be removed from the App Store. But why is Apple doing this? Let’s find out.
Apple Is Threatening to Remove Outdated Apps
Apple has emailed some developers warning them that they need to update their apps. And if they don’t, those apps could be delisted from the App Store. This has affected apps across all categories, regardless of how well they still work. The unifying feature across these apps is that none of them have received any updates in at least two years.
The news was first reported by The Verge, which shared screenshots from several app developers who received the warning from Apple, with others claiming that Apple has already removed some versions of their apps.
Apple posted a notice on its App Store Improvements page, stating:
We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.
It is unclear when this notice was published, but developers started posting screenshots of the email sent by Apple on April 23rd, 2022. Previously, Apple caused a similar stir by removing outdated apps back in 2016.
Why Apple Is Threatening to Remove Outdated Apps?
Apple wants to ensure that users are getting the best experience by only hosting apps on the App Store that are regularly updated and working optimally. An outdated app can develop bugs, security flaws, and ruin the unified aesthetic created by modern versions of iOS.
As stated on Apple’s App Store Improvements page:
To make it easier for customers to find great apps that fit their needs, we want to ensure that apps available on the App Store are functional and up-to-date.
In other words, Apple wants to reduce the clutter on its App Store, but at what cost?
Understandably, removing outdated apps would make it easier for customers to navigate the store and to find the apps they’re looking for in less time, but what is to be said about those outdated apps that still work properly?
It also seems that Apple’s criteria for removing older apps is unclear as developers report that not all older apps are affected.
What Happens if Developers Don’t Update Their Apps?
If developers fail to update their apps within 30 days of receiving the email from Apple, their apps could disappear from the App Store entirely, although they would still have an opportunity to submit an update after that.
Unfortunately, some developers may not see Apple’s email or may not have sufficient free time to create an update, and their apps may be removed as a result. Previously downloaded apps will continue to work, but the developers will not be able to make any new sales on their apps.
This also means that you may not be able to download old apps you once deleted for storage purposes or other reasons. You could also lose some of your favorite apps, even if they still work properly.
While some apps are able to beat Apple’s App Store guidelines, there seems to be no way around this particular process.
Is Apple Right to Remove Outdated Apps From Its App Store?
Although Apple’s move seems sudden and extreme, the company is justified in only wanting to host apps that are up-to-date so it can continue to provide users with real value and the best app store experience.
That’s because apps that aren’t updated to fix bugs and errors can be frustrating. It also helps when apps are constantly updated in line with Apple’s latest operating system.