Apple's latest App Store policy change has developers up in arms

App store revenues 2019
(Image credit: Future)

Several App Store developers have claimed that Apple will remove their applications within 30 days unless they are updated as part of a drive to improve the quality of the marketplace.

One developer posted a screenshot of an email they received from the company, which stated: “This app has not been updated in a significant amount of time and is scheduled to be removed from sale in 30 days. No action is required to remain available to users who have already downloaded the app."

“You can keep this app available to new users to discover and download from the App Store by submitting an update for review within 30 days. If no update is submitted within 30 days, the app will be removed from sale.”

Apple App Store

The company has previously taken action to prevent older applications that have not been optimized for modern versions of iOS being downloaded by newer iPhones, but has refrained from removing apps that haven’t been updated recently but remain fully functional.

Many app creators have argued that, because their software is in a completed state, there is no need for an update that would require time and effort to produce and submit for review. Meanwhile, others have argued that the move is a blow to efforts to preserve applications and games for future generations.

However, Apple takes its role as the curator of the App Store very seriously, with the tight integration of hardware and software considered to be a key selling point of the iOS platform. The company has been contacted by TechRadar Pro for comment.

Google, which allows apps from third party marketplaces to be installed on Android, has also taken steps to improve the quality of apps on its own marketplace, given previous criticisms of a review process that has allowed malware to slip through the net. 

However, it is understood that the company will only reduce the visibility of apps, rather than deleting them. Google is also offering a six-month extension to developers unable to make the necessary changes within two years.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.