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".
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.