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Apple is apparently delisting outdated apps on the App Store

If you have an old app on your iPhone that you are fond of, you may soon be unable to access them in the App Store as Apple is apparently clearing out apps that have not received an update in a long time.

Apple has communicated with app developers through an email titled “App Improvement Notice” that it will delete apps that haven’t been updated in a significant amount of time. Developers have just 30 days to provide an update.

Even though affected apps will no longer be available in the store, users that have already downloaded them will continue to have access to them. However, if they changed devices or reset their phones or tablets, they will not be able to reinstall the apps.

Meanwhile, app makers have reacted to Apple’s ultimatum. For example, Protocop Games maker Robert Kabwe has spoken against the app purge. He is affected because his game Motivoto, has not published any update since 2019 but remains fully functional.

Kabwe tweeted, “I feel sick. Apple just sent me an email saying they’re removing my free game Motivoto because its more than 2 years old. It’s part of their App improvement system. This is not cool. Console games from 2000 are still available for sale. This is an unfair barrier to indie devs.”

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>I feel sick. Apple just sent me an email saying they&#39;re removing my free game Motivoto because its more than 2 years old.<br><br>It&#39;s part of their App improvement system.<br><br>This is not cool. Console games from 2000 are still available for sale.<br><br>This is an unfair barrier to indie devs. <a href=”https://t.co/7XNcLfiEcR”>pic.twitter.com/7XNcLfiEcR</a></p>&mdash; Protopop Games (@protopop) <a href=”https://twitter.com/protopop/status/1517701619374338050?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 23, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Some developers who have already been hit with removals have also spoken out. These include Kosta Eleftheriou, who made the FlickType Apple Watch keyboard. He claims Apple has removed the version of the app for visually impaired users because he hadn’t updated it in two years. Insinuating double standards or unclear implementation, Eleftheriou points out that the Pocket God app is still intact, even though the developer updated it last in 2015.

Similarly, Emilia Lazer-Walker has tweeted that Apple has axed a few of her older games. Other app makers have complained of not having the time to update their apps. But the apps worked fine before Apple removed them. Lazer-Walker argues that games can exist as completed objects, and the developer should not be compelled to update them if there are no reported issues.

Meanwhile, Apple says on its App Store Improvement webpage, “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 not clear whether the page has been recently updated.

Apple first mentioned it would remove apps that have been abandoned by the developer in 2016, adding that it would give a 30-day notice for the app to be updated. However, Apple has not clarified whether it simply uses the last date the app received an update to determine outdated apps or compatibility with the latest versions of the OS.

Google is making similar moves in its Play Store. It announced in April apps that “don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android release version” would be limited in visibility. However, developers have until November 1st, 2022, to submit an update.

Written by HackerVibes

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