iCloud Supports Re-Downloading Some Discontinued Apps

As noted by MacStories earlier this week, Apple's new re-downloading feature in iCloud allows users to obtain previously-purchased applications that are no longer available in the App Store. Engadget was even able to download Tris, an old Tetris clone that was removed from the App Store nearly three years ago.

While handy for grabbing apps that have become unavailable, the feature does appear to be limited to applications removed from sale by the developers and not applications removed by Apple for infringement, violations of App Store policies that had escaped the notice of reviewers, or other reasons.

But even those apps that were voluntarily removed (such as Tris) for legal reasons may soon not be available for re-download. A number of iOS developers have reported another change in the iTunes Connect app management platform to record these legally-requested removals. Upon logging into iTunes Connect following Monday's keynote, developers were met with a screen asking whether any of their applications "may have a legal issue".

icloud legal 2
Developers responding "yes" to the question are then presented with a list of their applications and their version histories and asked to identify which applications have legal issues associated with them. Apple appears to be using this information to identify applications that should not be made available for re-download through the listings of previously-purchased items.

Select each app that may have a legal issue. You will be presented with a list of versions to choose from for each app that you select. Any app versions you choose will become unavailable to be restored and/or downloaded as a previous purchase by App Store customers.

Going forward, similar questions are presented in the submission process for each application update, as outlined in the revised iTunes Connect Developer Guide (PDF), beginning on page 74.

Top Rated Comments

DerfBWH Avatar
127 months ago
Just commenting to say that I have, and still play, Tris. I <3 it.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Aduntu Avatar
127 months ago
This is very wrong. I don't at all like the idea of them being able to reach in and take away what I have purchased. This is very, very wrong.
They aren't. If you purchase it and back it up to your computer, you can continue to use it whether it's still in the app store or not. Apple has yet to take an app from those who have purchased it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eltoko Avatar
127 months ago
It should be

Do you have any apps that may have a legal issue?

[ ] Yes
[ ] No
[ ] Wat
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
addicted44 Avatar
127 months ago
This is very wrong. I don't at all like the idea of them being able to reach in and take away what I have purchased. This is very, very wrong.

You do know that every mobile OS (including Google, which has used it FAR MORE than Apple has) has this kill switch, right?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deannnnn Avatar
127 months ago
YES! Just got Tris back, too! This is awesome!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nozebleed Avatar
127 months ago
This is very wrong. I don't at all like the idea of them being able to reach in and take away what I have purchased. This is very, very wrong.

Now if you only felt this way about the government and your rights and freedoms
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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