Apple is cleaning house in the App Store by removing outdated apps

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The Apple App Store is one of the most walled garden software stores available. Apple implements many rules and regulations that developers must adhere to, and they only allow users to install apps from the official App Store. But that doesn’t mean the App Store doesn’t have problems.

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There have been many instances of malicious apps being uploaded and approved for use in the Store. Apple is generally good about spotting these, though, and they are removed quickly. But there has also been a problem with apps that are no longer updated or simply outdated.

In 2016 Apple said it would start removing unused and dysfunctional apps from the App Store, but it has not done that as much as it first indicated. The company seems to be taking the policy seriously and maybe making its moves on these unwanted apps.

Apple is cleaning house in the App Store by removing outdated apps

After not drawing much attention over the last few years, that policy came back into the public consciousness this week. In a series of tweets spotted by The Verge, a handful of indie developers shared an email notice from Apple prompting them to update their games.

“This app has not been updated in a significant amount of time and is scheduled to be removed from sale in 30 days,” the company states in the email. “You can keep this app available for new users to discover and download from the App Store by submitting an update for review within 30 days.”

Apple notes developers can continue to earn revenue from microtransactions even if it removes their app or game from the store. Moreover, their programs will continue to work for those who have them downloaded to their devices. Some people who shared screenshots of the notice on Twitter expressed concern that the policy disproportionately affects smaller developers.

“This is an unfair barrier to indie devs,” Protopop Games developer Robert Kabwe said. “I’m sitting here on a Friday night, working myself to the bone after my day job, trying my best to scrape a living from my indie games, trying to keep up with Apple, Google, Unity, Xcode, macOS changes that happen so fast my head spins while performing worse on older devices.”

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There are bound to be some feathers ruffled through this process, but Apple is well within its rights to make these moves. That’s not to say developers aren’t going to face challenging tasks; this will primarily be hard on indie developers.

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Last Updated on April 24, 2022.

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