Apple Extends Its Grace Period for Deleting Old (and Unpopular) Apps from Its App Store

"As a response to recent coverage of software being purged from the App Store, Apple is sharing its criteria for how it chooses to remove abandoned apps," reports 9to5Mac. Apple's announcement say it's only flagging apps for possible removal "that Developers will also have more time to comply after being notified." (90 days instead of 30 days). And 9to5Mac adds that Apple "is also reiterating that the practice is not new but instead part of an initiative that started six years ago. But the Verge took a different message from "Apple to developers: if we deleted your old app, it deserved it." [T]he company has responded — by issuing a press release effectively saying that nobody was downloading the apps anyways.... Apple's explanation does clear up why it, as some developers noted, seemed to apply the rules inconsistently. For example, one developer noted that Pocket God, a popular game from the iPhone's early days, hasn't been updated for seven years but is still on the App Store. Apple is basically saying it's still up because it's still popular. From one angle, this reasoning doesn't necessarily gel with the first half of Apple's post, where it says it removes old apps to ensure "user trust in quality apps," and to improve discoverability, security and privacy, and user experience. After all — if an app is problematic because it's outdated, more downloads would make a bad app a bigger issue. Who's being harmed if there's an outdated app almost no one is downloading? But Apple says it doesn't want the App Store cluttered up with apps that both developers and users have forgotten about. It has enough problems making it easy for users to find good apps as it is, and it's easy to imagine Apple seeing deleting old, seemingly irrelevant apps as a good solution.

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