Games and applications will disappear from the App Store, Apple maintains its position

Apple has asked some developers to update their apps within 30 days if they don’t want them to disappear. The brand extends this period to 90 days, but does not reconsider its decision.

In an article published on its site dedicated to developers, Apple reacts to the controversy launched by small developers who accuse it of wanting to clean up the App Store. The Californian brand maintains its position: “Developers of apps that have not been updated in the last three years and do not meet a minimum download threshold – meaning the app has not been downloaded at all or very few over a rolling 12 month period – receive an email notifying them that their app has been flagged for possible removal from the App Store. “.

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A position that holds, but which poses a problem

Until now, we thought that all old applications were targeted. For reasons of consistency in its ecosystem (adaptation to the right screen formats, support for the latest chips, avoidance of duplicates, etc.), Apple asks developers to update their applications within 30 days or risk seeing their applications disappear. The smaller ones got angry, indicating that “some works are finished” and that a game, even obsolete, remains a game. This is a classic debate for dematerialized software. Are they goods like others?

With its new message, Apple is taking the risk of giving developers the impression that it is putting them down. According to the company, it’s not the obsolescence of a game that’s the problem, but the fact that no one is using it. This position has a double advantage, it also allows him to justify why big developers are authorized to keep old games on the App Store (one thinks of the old GTA) or why, himself, can offer applications like itunes movie trailers, yet without update since 2017.

Apple’s “clarification” message to developers // Source: Apple

To appease the developers, Apple proposes to increase the update period from 30 days to 90 days, in order to give a little more time to the developers concerned. The brand also tells developers they can appeal if they wish and that the apps will remain available to those who have already downloaded them. According to blogger John Gruber, reputed to be very close to Apple, the brand would be ready to accept all requests provided that the developer can prove that his application works well on the latest iOS without updating. Is that enough to defuse this case?

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