Apple Seemingly Removing 'Outdated' Apps From the App Store

Apple appears to be removing a large number of apps from the App Store that have not been updated for "a significant amount of time" (via The Verge).

iOS App Store General Feature Desaturated
According to an "App Improvement Notice" email sent to affected developers, Apple is removing apps that have "not been updated in a significant amount of time" unless developers issue an update within 30 days:

This app has not been updated for a significant amount of time and is scheduled to be removed from sale in 30 days. No action is required for the app to remain available to users who have already downloaded the app.

You can keep this app available for new users to discover and download from the App Storey submitting an update for review within 30 days.

If no update is submitted within 30 days, the app will be removed from sale.

The notice has been met with concern from some developers, such as Protopop Games developer Robert Kabwe. Kabwe says on Twitter that Apple is threatening to his game, "Motivoto," since it has not been updated since March 2019. Kosta Eleftheriou, the developer of the FlickType Apple Watch keyboard, highlighted that while Apple took down a version of his app because it has not been updated in two years, the once-popular game "Pocket God" remains available despite it not being updated since 2015.

The sense of concern has been echoed by several other developers on Twitter who have also received App Improvement Notices, with developers highlighting that they simply have not had enough time to update their apps and that some apps exist as "completed objects," and therefore do not require "updates or a live service model."

Apple's App Store Improvements page states:

To make it easier for customers to find great apps that fit their needs, we want to ensure that apps available on the App Store are functional and up-to-date. 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of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.

Apple has been known to remove apps that have not been updated for some time from the ‌App Store‌ before, but it is not clear if this policy has been continuously or consistently enforced. It is also unknown what exactly Apple determines "a significant amount of time" to be, and whether it relates to compatibility with the latest version of iOS or time elapsed since the last update.

Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
5 weeks ago
Waiting for the day when Apple removes Facebook from the App store.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
till Avatar
5 weeks ago
While broken apps should certainly be removed, it's crazy to remove old games en masse without even doing some basic automated testing to see whether they still run.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
winxmac Avatar
5 weeks ago
While they're at it, can they also strictly enforce app detailed version history to every developer on Apple App Store? Not everyone reads version history but app developers should be transparent about what's new and what's changed or even what's removed in the new version of the app they publish...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
5 weeks ago

The sense of concern has been echoed by several other developers on Twitter who have also received App Improvement Notices, with developers highlighting... that some apps exist as "completed objects," and therefore do not require "updates or a live service model."
Solution is to write buggy apps so you have to update it every now and then. :p
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theluggage Avatar
5 weeks ago

I wish the developers would keep their apps updated, I applaud Apple for removing the bit-rotted applications from the store. Technology changes quickly... keep up or be left behind.
You can’t tell whether an application is “bit rotted” just because it is 3 years old, and 30 days notice out of the blue isn’t sufficient notice for a developer to actually do anything.

As with all these stories, there may be another side to it, but at face value this is Apple being ridiculous.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenomorph Avatar
5 weeks ago
Last update, 12 years ago:
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/doom-resurrection/id318567158

Don't let Apple remove id Software history!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iOS App Store General Feature Sqaure Complement

Apple Gives Developers More Time to Update 'Outdated' Apps Before Removal

Friday April 29, 2022 5:52 pm PDT by
Late last week, controversy erupted after Apple began notifying some developers that their apps that had not been updated in some time would be removed from the App Store as part of an "App Store Improvements" project to clean up "outdated" apps. Many of the affected developers objected to Apple's policy, noting that their apps continued to function just fine despite a lack of updates,...
iOS App Store General Feature Dock

Indie Developer Dogged By Scammy Clone Apps Again Highlights the Holes in Apple's App Store Review Process

Monday February 21, 2022 9:29 am PST by
Apps that copy concepts and features from other apps are nothing new in the ‌App Store‌, but scammy like-for-like clones of genuine apps remain a perennial problem that Apple still hasn't resolved, as indie developer Kevin Archer recently discovered. Archer is responsible for 2Stable's Authenticator App, a feature-rich app that stores and generates secure two-factor authentication tokens...
iOS App Store General Feature Clorange

Apple Reminds Developers About $250 to $30K Payments From Apple Lawsuit Settlement

Monday April 25, 2022 10:29 am PDT by
Apple today reminded developers that they can submit a claim for the Small Developer Assistance Fund, a pool of money that Apple is providing to developers as part of a $100 million class-action lawsuit settlement over its App Store policies. Apple has been accepting submissions since January, and is today reminding developers have until May 20 to make a claim through the Small Developer...
wordle

Clones of Popular 'Wordle' Game Flooding App Store, Including One Charging $30 Per Year [Updated]

Tuesday January 11, 2022 1:39 pm PST by
If you're a regular internet user you've probably heard of popular web-based daily guessing game Wordle, created by Josh Wardle. The game, which is entirely free to play, was introduced last fall and has been spreading like wildfire. Wordle asks players to guess a five letter word by identifying which letters are in the word and are located in the right location. Players get six guesses per...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Calls Apple's App Store a 'Disservice to Developers'

Thursday May 26, 2022 1:35 am PDT by
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has called Apple's App Store, which has helped app makers earn over $260 billion since its launch, a "disservice to developers" that forces them to treat their apps as "sub-par." Sweeney made the comments in an exclusive interview with the Financial Times, where he repeated Epic Games' previous talking points about Apple and how it is "anti-competitive" and...
iOS App Store General Feature Desaturated

Apple-Commissioned Study Touts App Store Job Growth and Success of Small Developers

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
Apple today shared details on developer studies sourced from economists at Analysis Group (commissioned by Apple) and the Progressive Policy Group, with the reports aimed at highlighting the successes of small businesses and independent developers on the App Store. Between 2019 and 2021, earnings for small developers increased by 113 percent, outpacing the growth of larger developers,...
geforce now fortnite

Fortnite Now Available to All on iOS via Nvidia's GeForce NOW Streaming Service

Thursday May 19, 2022 6:55 am PDT by
Following several months of beta testing, Nvidia today announced that popular battle royale game Fortnite is now available to all GeForce NOW subscribers via Safari on iOS, complete with optimized on-screen touch controls and game menus. Fortnite had been unavailable to play on the iPhone and iPad since Apple removed the game from the App Store in August 2020, after developer Epic Games...
couldnt find my magsafe for a while there

App Store Privacy Labels Mysteriously Disappear [Update: Fixed]

Monday April 25, 2022 6:46 am PDT by
As noted on Twitter, privacy labels for apps on the App Store on both iOS and macOS have mysteriously disappeared, and the reason remains unclear. All other functions of the App Store appear to remain online, and Apple's system status page indicates no issues with any services at the time of writing. Apple's App Store privacy labels aim to give users insight into what information an app...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

iPhone 14 Max Reportedly Weeks Behind Schedule [Updated]

Thursday May 26, 2022 7:25 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Max is currently behind schedule by around three weeks, according to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Yesterday, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China, but it was not clear which iPhone 14 model this related to. Now, Pu has clarified that the model...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5.1 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Wednesday May 25, 2022 9:42 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5.1, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5.1 comes about 10 days after the launch of tvOS 15.5. tvOS 15.5.1 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌‌‌ owners who have automatic software updates...