Apple clarifies its controversial app removal emails with a clearer policy statement

Stock photograph of a smartphone being used in the dark.

Enlarge / Apps on an iPhone. (credit: Wiyre Media / Flickr)

Last month, an email sent by Apple to many app and game developers led to confusion and frustration about the role in the App Store of apps that aren’t intended to be long-term services. Now Apple has published a news release targeted at developers to clarify the confusion and soften the frustration.

The initial email warned recipients that their apps would face removal from the App Store because they had not been updated in a “significant amount of time.” The email told each developer they would have to submit an update for their affected app or apps within 30 days to avoid removal. A related support document clarified that submitting an update after 30 days could lead to a removed app being reinstated.

Developers took to Twitter and other online platforms, claiming that many of the apps in question still work perfectly on modern hardware and should be seen as completed works rather than ongoing services with continual updates. Some also found examples of apps that have not been updated in many years that have apparently not faced removal, suggesting that Apple was inconsistent in how it applies the policy.

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