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Apple says it is deleting old apps not getting downloads

We reported that developers claim Apple is deleting old apps indiscriminately, but the company has clarified its criteria to decide which app to ax. Also, the company is giving some concessions.

Recently, App Store developers complained of receiving a notice from Apple warning their apps would be deleted in 30 days. The reason given by the company for the action was to avoid hosting apps that have not been updated in a long time. However, the developers pointed out at least a game, Pocket God, that has not received an update in years and was still available and demanded an explanation for the seeming unfair application of the rule.

Apple has now released a statement clearing up the air. It said it is removing apps that have not been updated in a long time and are not being downloaded by users.

Here is part of Apple’s explanation:

“As part of the App Store Improvements process, developers of apps that have not been updated within the last three years and fail to meet a minimal download threshold — meaning the app has not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period — receive an email notifying them that their app has been identified for possible removal from the App Store.”

However, some developers have taken issues with the first part of the requirement. They contend that apps and games, in particular, should be allowed to exist as a finished product and not force the maker to update it, except when absolutely necessary.

Robert Kabwe likened Apple’s removal of older apps to removing old movies from the iTunes Store simply because they do not fit modern TVs’ screen resolutions.

Meanwhile, Apple’s explanation has cleared up while Pocket God remains in the store despite being old and not updated. In short, the game is getting a pass because it is still popular. This basically confirmed suspicions that Apple would let old, un-updated apps remain if they still get eyeballs.

Another issue raised by the affected developers is the short notice they got. Apple gave them only 30 days to update the app or face deletion. This could pose a problem with indie developers with day jobs and other responsibilities. However, Apple has shifted grounds a bit by extending the grace period. Developers now have 90 days before their app disappears. “Apple always wants to help developers get and keep quality software on the App Store. That’s why developers can appeal app removals. And developers, including those who recently received a notice, will now be given more time to update their apps if needed — up to 90 days. Apps that are removed will continue to function as normal for users who have already downloaded the app on their device.”

Written by HackerVibes

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