Apple appears to have embarked on a new round of purging apps from its App Store, specifically those that have been left untouched by developers for a long period of time
In a message sent to affected developers, Apple said: “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 for the app to remain available to users who have already downloaded the app.”
It added that the app will remain on Apple’s App Store if the developer submits an update for review within 30 days. “If no update is submitted within 30 days, the app will be removed from sale,” the tech giant said.
It’s not clear what Apple regards as a “significant amount of time.”
As noted by The Verge, the move has upset many of the impacted developers, especially those who don’t have time to update their work.
“It’s hard to take time away from current projects to update old ones, just to keep them alive on the store,” developer BobbyW said on Twitter on Sunday.
Protopop Games developer Robert Kabwe, who also received the warning from Apple, described the company’s move as “not cool.”
“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,” Kabwe said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, coder Simon Barker wrote: “I received an email this morning saying the same about one of my apps, it hasn’t got any crash reports, still gets downloads after 5 years, doesn’t need a v2 and Apple decide it’s time to go due to swift version changes. I don’t have time to push a meaningful change.”
Apple has been known to embark on periodical purges of neglected apps in a bid to keep its store filled with recently updated software. In 2016, for example, it sent out a similar message to developers, warning them to update their app or risk seeing it booted from the store. In that particular expulsion round, the company reportedly removed nearly 50,000 apps in the first two months.
What isn’t clear is if the current purge is part of a long-running campaign or if Apple has recently started to increase its efforts on this front. Either way, the company is hoping that its message will prompt active developers to update their apps, thereby enabling them to remain in the store.
Digital Trends has reached out to Apple for more details on its apparent move to purge neglected apps from the App Store and we will update this article when we hear back.