After a week of confusion and speculation, Apple has attempted to address developer concerns over the company’s removal of outdated apps from the App Store.
In mid-April, Apple informed developers that any app that hadn’t been updated for “some time” would be removed from the App Store. However, developers could circumvent the removal by submitting an update for review within 30 days.
The developers took to social media to speak out against the policy, saying the changes were unfair to indie developers.
In response, Apple posted a press release on its developer website. The press release explains the situation in more detail.
First, Apple clarifies that a “significant period” means within the last three years. This apparently only applies to apps that fail to meet a minimum download threshold over a rolling 12-month period, though the company doesn’t specify the minimum threshold.
Apple states that it does this to give users a better App Store experience. By removing old, outdated, or discontinued apps, it hopes to provide better discoverability for apps that are actively maintained.
Plus, it ensures apps adhere to the App Store’s security and privacy guidelines, which Apple says are “constantly evolving.”
Finally, the company wants apps to conform to a certain level of quality. Apps should work on all modern screen sizes, SDKs, APIs, and other features offered in the iOS and macOS ecosystems.
Apple has increased the time it takes to update older apps from 30 days to 90 days as a show of good faith with developers. Additionally, Apple notes that if the app was downloaded by a user, it will not be removed from the user’s device.
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