Apple Gives Developers More Time to Update 'Outdated' Apps Before Removal
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updated in some time would be removed from the App Store as part of an "App Store Improvements" project to clean up "outdated" apps.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, highlighting the amount of work that might be needed to submit even a minor update, and pointing out that many apps can exist as finished works without a need for continual updates.
Apple has now shared a new developer update clarifying its App Store Improvements policies and extending the amount of time it is giving developers to update their affected apps from 30 days to 90 days.
Apple says that apps that have not been updated within the past three years and which do not meet a minimum threshold for downloads ("not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period") are subject to the policy, with developers receiving notices via email.
As part of the App Store Improvements process, developers of apps that have not been updated within the last three years and fail to meet a minimal download threshold — meaning the app has not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period — receive an email notifying them that their app has been identified for possible removal from the App Store.
Developers can either appeal the pending removal or submit an update within 90 days in order to keep their apps live on the App Store. Apps that are removed will continue to function normally for users who previously downloaded them.
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4. Changes to Program Requirements or Terms Apple may change the Program Requirements or the terms of this Agreement at any time. New or modified Program Requirements will not retroactively apply to Applications already in distribution via the App Store or Custom App Distribution; provided however that You agree that Apple reserves the right to remove Applications from the App Store or Custom App Distribution that are not in compliance with the new or modified Program Requirements at any time.
I'm scratching my head. How can Apple say it wont retroactively apply newly-created requirements to existing apps but only if the developer agrees to allow Apple to remove apps that don't comply with the new requirements? That's some mind-blowing circular attorney double-speak.
Think about it, right now you can download old games and applications from the 90s to fool around with you on your 90s-era retro PC. You can play those old games and enjoy the nostalgia.
If Apple does this, nobody will be able to download and play games from the early years of the app store on older iOS devices. A lot of this software will be lost forever, since there's no archive of it out there and even if there were you need to jailbreak to load it up.
This policy is really bad for historical preservation. Apple really should re-think this.
Yes it is, because you don't have a lifetime agreement with Apple when you sign a developer agreement. In fact, you specifically agree that Apple has the right to introduce new policies or change existing ones regarding App Store requirements.
Completely agree. Half of these apps have probably not been updated because the developer is either too lazy or doesn't want to have to fill in the privacy labels.
Or maybe I am missing something about Apple store. Comming from Android, where there are no restrictions like that.