According to an “App Improvement Notice” email sent to affected developers, Apple warns that it will remove apps from the App Store that have not been “updated in a significant amount of time” unless developers submit an update within 30 days.
First spotted by the Verge, the notice has been met with concern from some developers, like Protopop Games developer Robert Kabwe.
I feel sick. Apple just sent me an email saying they're removing my free game Motivoto because its more than 2 years old.— Protopop Games (@protopop) April 23, 2022
It's part of their App improvement system.
This is not cool. Console games from 2000 are still available for sale.
This is an unfair barrier to indie devs. pic.twitter.com/7XNcLfiEcR
“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 Store by submitting an update for review in 30 days.
If no update is submitted within 30 days, the app will be removed from sale.” Apple said in the email.
On its App Store Improvements page, Apple said: “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of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.”
A few weeks ago, Google announced a similar move that would block the download of outdated apps. The company said that starting November 1, 2022, it will block discovery and installation for apps that don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android release version. The company said outdated apps will no longer be available for users with devices running Android OS versions higher than apps’ target API level.