Apple Extends Deadline for Several Upcoming App Requirements for Developers

Apple today announced that it is extending several deadlines that will eventually require apps to be built on SDKs designed for the most recent iOS and watchOS updates and incorporate iOS 13 features.

Apple will not require developers to meet the below requirements until June 30, 2020.

app store iphones

- Apps for iPhone or iPad must be built with the iOS 13 SDK or later and use an Xcode storyboard to provide the app's launch screen.
- iPhone apps must support all iPhone screens and all iPad apps must support all iPad screens.
- Apps for Apple Watch must be built with the watchOS 6 SDK or later.
- Apps that authenticate or set up user accounts must support Sign in with Apple if required by guideline 4.8 of the App Store Review Guidelines.
- Apps in the Kids category must be in full compliance with guideline 1.3 and guideline 5.1.4. of the App Store Review Guidelines.
- Apps using HTML 5 must be in full compliance with guideline 4.7 sections 4, 5, and 6 of the App Store Review Guidelines.

Notably, apps will not be required to adopt Sign in with Apple or comply with new guidelines for apps designed for children until the end of June.

Apple says the deadlines are being extended to accommodate developers who may need additional time to update their apps on the App Store. Apple was previously requiring developers to meet these deadlines in April 2020.

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Top Rated Comments

trusso Avatar
55 months ago
Amazing how Apple continues to get away with fleecing its developers.

Not only do you have to pay an annual premium in addition to 30% of your profits, but you'd better keep investing in Apple's new hardware and software (no matter how crummy it is), otherwise you're cut off. How is this much different from sharecropping (which is only marginally better than slavery)?

And don't pigeonhole me as an Apple-hater. Apple's done a lot of good in their history, but their present track record of corporate greed (PR stunts notwithstanding) has got to stop.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apparatchik Avatar
55 months ago
Income/revenue, not profits, your app might not even be profitable, you still pay 30% for every sale. At least governments take a share on your profits, whats left after all your expenses, not your income, as you might very well be operating at a loss or at razor thing profits. In economics, there’s even a consideration of what the expected profit should be on any given industry, profits below that level are not considered actual profits. You dont invest 2 million to attain 2k in profits. Digital store fronts cuts are crazy high, including Apple’s.


Amazing how Apple continues to get away with fleecing its developers.

Not only do you have to pay an annual premium in addition to 30% of your profits, but you'd better keep investing in Apple's new hardware and software (no matter how crummy it is), otherwise you're cut off. How is this much different from sharecropping (which is only marginally better than slavery)?

And don't pigeonhole me as an Apple-hater. Apple's done a lot of good in their history, but their present track record of corporate greed (PR stunts notwithstanding) has got to stop.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
55 months ago

Will apps that ignore this deadline no longer be for sale on the App Store or just no longer approved for new updates?
Existing apps stay as they are. There are millions of legacy apps that don't follow current guidelines but haven't been updated in years. If a developer with an active app wants to update or if the app is new, they have to follow current guidelines.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jhollington Avatar
55 months ago

So, what will happen to existing apps which are not updated? Will they be removed from the app store I wonder? I saw so many apps from 2016 to 17 that didn't get an update, I still use a couple of them.
They're not going anywhere. Apple does this almost every year to make sure that new and updated apps are using the latest iOS SDKs, but with the exception of one big culling back in 2016 ('https://www.macrumors.com/2016/09/01/apple-cleaning-up-app-store/') they don't remove old apps just because they're not being updated. The 2016-2017 cleanup was more about taking out ancient apps that had become virtually non-functional, or were outdated in other ways. It's fair to say that if a developer hadn't updated an app since 2010 it probably doesn't even run properly on modern iPhones and iPads, but it's unclear exactly what criteria Apple used to sort this out.

Further, even those apps that have been taken down from sale are still available in your purchase history. I have apps I bought when the App Store opened in 2008 that are still there, some of which never got updated, and while many of them can't be downloaded to my iOS 13 device due to simple compatibility issues, they actually still download and work fine on my original iPhone that's of course still running "iOS" 3. For example, a couple of weeks ago I came across the original Missile Command for iPhone, which was so short-lived that most people have forgotten that Atari ever released an earlier one.

In short, Apple almost never removes an app from the App Store permanently unless it's actually violating App Store Review Guidelines or there's some kind of official take-down request (e.g. DMCA, Chinese government, etc). There are a handful that have disappeared from my purchase history for reasons like those, but they're few and far between (and even then, Apple doesn't throw its "kill switch" to take them off your device).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jhollington Avatar
55 months ago

Keep investing in new hardware and software? Where is Apple charging for (development) software? A Mac is necessary in order to develop for iOS in the first place. No additional cost for the OS, if you own a Mac, no additional cost for Xcode, if you own a Mac. And you don't have to buy a constant stream of new iOS devices in order to compile software for them, you can run them in the simulator on your Mac. So that entire "keep investing..." part of your argument makes no sense.
Not to mention that even if you want to make sure you're testing on physical hardware, that doesn't need to be a shiny new iPhone 11 Pro Max unless you're developing one of the rare apps that truly does require the latest hardware features like the camera system. iOS 13 still runs on the 2015 iPhone 6s and iPadOS 13 goes as far back as the 2014 iPad Air 2. Any developer who doesn't already have an iPhone or iPad made in the last five years probably shouldn't be writing iOS apps anyway, as they're clearly not eating their own dog food ?


The final nail in the coffin of iPhone 4.

With iOS 13 SDK you can only support iOS 8 devices.
I think for most developers that ship already sailed a long time ago. Other than those that simply haven't been updated in years, I can't think of too many apps that still support even iOS 8, and even iOS 9 compatibility has gotten pretty rare. My mom had an iPhone 4S until recently, and she was always stuck with apps that were about three or four versions behind, although I'm sure those older versions will still continue to be available.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
recoil80 Avatar
55 months ago

I think for most developers that ship already sailed a long time ago. Other than those that simply haven't been updated in years, I can't think of too many apps that still support even iOS 8, and even iOS 9 compatibility has gotten pretty rare. My mom had an iPhone 4S until recently, and she was always stuck with apps that were about three or four versions behind, although I'm sure those older versions will still continue to be available.
I still support iOS 9 for one of my customers, it means iPhone 4s and iPad 2! For others, minimum target is 10.
If I were a indie I think I'd be supporting only back to 12 right now, iPhone 6 has been quite popular so you want to have those customers.
Keeping compatibility can be a burden sometimes, so I don't blame devs who want to drop support as soon as possibile.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)