Apple Seemingly Removing 'Outdated' Apps From the App Store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of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.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.

Popular Stories

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
maxresdefault

First Look at Messages via Satellite in iOS 18

Thursday June 13, 2024 11:29 am PDT by
Apple has been gradually expanding its suite of satellite connectivity features for iPhone, and iOS 18 brings a significant new one in the form of Messages via satellite. The feature allows users to send and receive iMessages and SMS texts, including emoji and Tapbacks, while out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi networks. CNET met up with Apple's senior director of platform product marketing,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...
Generic iOS 18 Feature Real Mock

Your iPhone 15 Can Show the Time When It's Out of Battery in iOS 18

Wednesday June 12, 2024 2:57 pm PDT by
The iPhone has had a Power Reserve function that holds back a small amount of battery life to allow features like Find My and NFC unlocking to work even when your device has died, and in iOS 18, Apple seems to be improving the feature further for the iPhone 15 models. As demonstrated on Reddit, when the battery on an iPhone running iOS 18 is exhausted, the phone can continue to show the time ...

Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
28 months ago
Waiting for the day when Apple removes Facebook from the App store.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
till Avatar
28 months 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
28 months 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
28 months 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
28 months 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
28 months 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)