Last month, Apple sent numerous notices to developers, warning them that their app would be removed from the company’s App Store in 30 days if they did not submit an update. The company has now extended that to 90 days and explained the policy’s rationale in a new blog post on its website.
According to the blog post, for an app to be eligible for removal, it must meet two criteria: First, it must not have been updated in the last three years. Second, it must not meet a minimum download threshold, which the company says means it shouldn’t have been downloaded at all or it should have been downloaded “very few times” over a period of time. of rolling twelve months.
Apple justified its decision to remove these apps citing three reasons: app discoverability, security and privacy, and user experience.
According to the company, removing outdated apps from the App Store makes it easier for users to find apps that better suit their needs, making new apps more visible. The company also says developers should regularly update apps to take advantage of the latest security and privacy features provided by Apple hardware and software.
Additionally, Apple claims that updating apps helps them comply with the latest screen sizes, SDKs, APIs, and other features offered on newer versions of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
When Apple started sending these notices to developers, critics of the policy, primarily mobile game developers, argued that it shouldn’t apply to mobile games, regardless of age. These mobile game developers compared mobile games to old console games that can still be played today on compatible platforms.
To make more ink flow:
* It is not viable for me to spend several days updating each of the few small free games I created in ~2014.
* MS is making technical efforts to allow you to run 30-year-old Win95 applications on Windows ARM devices. This is a platform policy decision, not a technical decision.
— emily ✨ (@lazerwalker) April 23, 2022
This App Store policy will make it particularly difficult for indie game developers who might be working with a small studio or just on their own, as it doesn’t necessarily make sense for them to devote the time and energy to update several games from over the years, especially when they still work as expected without any known flaws.