Apple says apps that haven’t been updated in two years will be ‘removed from sale’

Apple has notified developers that apps and games that have gone two full years without an update are at risk of being removed from the App Store.

The change is part of Apple’s App Store Improvement Program, which aims to make the online store easier to use and ensure that customers “find great apps that meet their needs” and which are compatible with new iOS devices.

In an email to Protopop Games, Apple reportedly said, “This app has not been updated for a significant time and is expected to be retired in 30 days. No action is required for the app to remains 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 within 30 days. If no update is submitted within 30 days, the application will be withdrawn from sale.”

“That’s not cool,” the developer tweeted in response to the email. “Console games from 2000 are still available for sale. It’s an unfair barrier for independent developers.

“I’m sitting here on a Friday night, working myself for [the] bones after my day job, doing my best to live off my indie games, trying to keep up with changes from Apple, Google, Unity, Xcode, MacOS that are happening so fast my head is spinning while underperforming on devices older ones,” the developer added.

Apple confirms that the changes affect all apps, not just games, and if Apple staff encounter any issues with apps in the store, they will contact the developers.

“To make it easier for customers to find apps that suit their needs, we want to make sure apps available on the App Store are functional and up-to-date. We implement an ongoing app review process, removing apps that no longer work as expected, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated,” Apple said.

As Apple explained in its email to developers, even if one of your favorite apps or games is removed from the store, you shouldn’t experience any issues while using it, including microtransactions.

ICYMI, a new European law could be passed that would force Apple to allow users to install third-party apps on their devices, a process known as sideloading. The law, known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), has yet to be passed by the European Parliament, but if passed, it could be implemented as early as October.

This would mean that Apple would be forced to allow users to access both third-party stores and third-party apps – something the company vehemently opposes because it could compromise security.

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