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Apple now sending 30 day notices of old apps to be removed

ethanwaethanwa Orlando, FLPosts: 729Registered Users @ @ @
edited September 2016 in Business, Legal, & App Store
One of my very old apps from 2009 or so just got the following notice in iTunes Connect:
Sep 15, 2016 at 3:03 PM
From Apple
Dear Developer,

On September 1, 2016, we announced that we’re implementing an ongoing process of evaluating and removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.

We noticed that your app has not been updated in a significant amount of time.

Next Steps
To keep your app on the App Store, submit an updated version for review and make sure it follows the latest App Review Guidelines. If you are unable to submit an update within 30 days, your app will be removed from the App Store until you submit an update and it is approved.

If Your App is Removed
Your app will remain fully functional for current users. They will experience no interruption to services, will still be able to buy in-app purchases, and can re-download the app while restoring from an iCloud or iTunes backup. However, we recommend that you update your app as soon as possible to reinstate it on the App Store and ensure that it remains functional and engaging for new and existing customers.

You can continue to use your current app name, as your app has not been deleted from your account.

Additional Information
Learn more about changes to the App Store and keeping your apps up-to-date.
App Store Improvements
App Review Resources
Debugging Your Apps

Best regards,
App Store Review

One of my friends who's has a Developer account with old apps in it for years (but never bothered to update them) had 3 of his apps get the notice today. He's only making $30 a month off of about 10-15 apps and will just let them drop off as the notices come in.

My guess is this is going to kill a TON of junk apps on the App Store. Finally!
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Replies

  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,567New Users @ @ @ @ @
    Wonder what criteria they're using to determine "outdated".

    Is it time passed since last update?

    Is it the last iOS version the app is linked to? For example if the last update was iOS 8, will they send out the letter?
  • iekeiiekei Posts: 565Registered Users @ @ @
    Starting with the iPhone OS 2 apps would be logical.
  • iekeiiekei Posts: 565Registered Users @ @ @
    Although IAP didn't appear until iPhone OS 3.
  • sparksosparkso Posts: 508Registered Users @ @ @
    seems to be pre 2013 apps and base os still 4.0 apps
  • CoDEFRoCoDEFRo Posts: 631New Users @ @ @
    sparkso wrote: »
    seems to be pre 2013 apps and base os still 4.0 apps

    I wonder if there are that many of these kinds of apps? I don't ever remember seeing an app that goes that far back.

  • iekeiiekei Posts: 565Registered Users @ @ @
    edited September 2016
    sparkso wrote: »
    seems to be pre 2013 apps and base os still 4.0 apps
    And, or or?
  • dobrydobry Posts: 289Registered Users @ @
    30 days to update an old app.... Especially as Xcode 8 minimum iOS support is 8.0. (btw. iPhone 4 runs on 7.1.2 max.). But good that Apple forces update of old apps.
  • dredre Posts: 1,349Registered Users @ @ @ @
    This changes would be good if Apple did it right. Does anybody have doubts that Apple's geniuses behind their backends won't screw up? So here we go.

    I've got 2 of those emails for my old apps that I never bothered to update. Fair enough. I actually removed them myself. Today I've got 2 emails for apps that I published in April 2013, that have retina displays support, that work flawlessly on all the phones and OSes, including iOS10.. Why? Why do I need to update those? Of course I can simply recompile and send the "update", no big deal for me. What about those who actually pay somebody to manage and upload their apps? If the app is fine, why should they now hire developers just because Apple (seemingly randomly) decided to remove the apps for no reason. The apps were published in 2013..

    Funny enough, I have old and obscured apps on the SAME account that were never updated since 2009, no retina display and so forth, I don't even know if they work on latest devices. Of course I didn't get any email for those. Funny enough, the apps they sent the notices come in 2 flavors: free and paid, released at the same time. The other "flavor" doesn't get the notice.

    I just imagine how some "yes-man" manager at Apple reports up "we have finished implementing new feature".. While the developers underneath sat on their a$$es and did nothing, they just implemented few quick-and-dirty "algorithms" to pick random apps and that's it. So some devs will be thrown under the bus, while the rest of the junk will stay.. Or are they gonna require updates for all the apps released 2013 and prior? there were 1.5 millions apps. Can they deal with 1 million updates/month? No? Then somebody gets unlucky (as usual) and the th$t stays.

    I, personally, don't care, but there are people who paid for their apps to be developed, polished and published. These apps work fine, but sometimes you can't just recompile the app, because the libraries get outdated, every release of Swift language the code breaks, etc.. So again the developers needs to be hired and it may take longer than 30 days. I think the time will soon come when some anti-trust regulators should take a good look at Apple's policies.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,567New Users @ @ @ @ @
    Got the notice. Looks like I will have to update an app I issued in Mid 2013. App no longer gets much revenue. May just let it die. Or do what @dre mentions... do an update with the latest Xcode version and hope for the best. FWIW, the app works fine.

    Thanks Apple for looking out for my welfare. (sarcasm)
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,567New Users @ @ @ @ @
    djaylover wrote: »
    Yeah its good there are cleaning out the store. Sometimes you need a good spring cleaning to clear out junk.

    Overall it is a good idea. But seriously, I don't think it will improve discoverability. Most of those "dead" apps no longer show up in iTunes Search, due to the lack of downloads and reviews. Those are not the apps clogging the system. As they are long gone and forgotten.
  • ethanwaethanwa Orlando, FLPosts: 729Registered Users @ @ @
    It has nothing to do with cleaning the App Store or helping developers. It's so Apple can eventually ditch the emulator code within iOS for old apps and to get the UX to where Apple wants it.

    I've learned by now that Apple only does things to help themselves. It may or may not help others, but that is just a bonus and never really a primary goal.
  • dev666999dev666999 Posts: 3,567New Users @ @ @ @ @
    edited September 2016
    ethanwa wrote: »
    It has nothing to do with cleaning the App Store or helping developers. It's so Apple can eventually ditch the emulator code within iOS for old apps and to get the UX to where Apple wants it.

    I've learned by now that Apple only does things to help themselves. It may or may not help others, but that is just a bonus and never really a primary goal.

    Do you have a link for that? Would love to read about it further.
    Post edited by dev666999 on
  • angelappsangelapps usaPosts: 260New Users @ @
    ethanwa, so your thinking is that they want to phase out apps which work on older ios versions.

    My thinking is that if this was the case you would not be able to now upload an app which supports old ios versions.
  • dobrydobry Posts: 289Registered Users @ @
    I removed an app of mine in 2012 from sale. Now users updated to iOS 10 and the app doesn't open anymore. The app stores special contacts data in its own database, so now the users can't access the data anymore. But I don't let them hang, will publish an update ;-)
  • iekeiiekei Posts: 565Registered Users @ @ @
    "On September 1, 2016, we announced that we’re implementing an ongoing process of evaluating and removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated."

    I wonder if they've sent their iTunes Connect team a similar notice because their app no longer functions as intended, crashing under iOS 10.
  • ChristieMaiChristieMai BristolPosts: 24New Users @
    Are there options to appeal these notices if your apps are still functional (no need for an update)?
  • ethanwaethanwa Orlando, FLPosts: 729Registered Users @ @ @
    angelapps wrote: »
    ethanwa, so your thinking is that they want to phase out apps which work on older ios versions.

    My thinking is that if this was the case you would not be able to now upload an app which supports old ios versions.

    If you have the latest version of Xcode, you can't upload an app that supports anything less than iOS 7 currently. Trust me, Apple wants to phase that old stuff out so people buy new devices!!
  • ethanwaethanwa Orlando, FLPosts: 729Registered Users @ @ @
    dev666999 wrote: »
    ethanwa wrote: »
    It has nothing to do with cleaning the App Store or helping developers. It's so Apple can eventually ditch the emulator code within iOS for old apps and to get the UX to where Apple wants it.

    I've learned by now that Apple only does things to help themselves. It may or may not help others, but that is just a bonus and never really a primary goal.

    Do you have a link for that? Would love to read about it further.

    I'm just stating an opinion, that's all.

  • SeanyKSeanyK Posts: 188Registered Users @ @
    I am always cautious about the latest OS support, currently when I update I tend to set it to support OS 6.1+ but I do wonder how many people still use that, and if most people are using at least OS 7 it's probably worth upgrading to XCode 8 and see what they have broke with this version of it.

    One of the things I hated the most about XCode7 was it's ability to 'forget' the 3rd party frameworks that were added, so you had to remove them, and then re-drag and drop them back in, otherwise it would complain it couldn't find them!

    XCode 6.4 was solid in my opinion, the best one.


  • dobrydobry Posts: 289Registered Users @ @
    ethanwa wrote: »
    If you have the latest version of Xcode, you can't upload an app that supports anything less than iOS 7 currently.
    No, Xcode 8 supports iOS 8, not 7.

  • angelappsangelapps usaPosts: 260New Users @ @
    I just has an app update approved which requires iOS6. And it advertises this on the itunes web page.
  • bw748bw748 Posts: 100Registered Users @ @
    SeanyK wrote: »
    I am always cautious about the latest OS support, currently when I update I tend to set it to support OS 6.1+ but I do wonder how many people still use that, and if most people are using at least OS 7 it's probably worth upgrading to XCode 8 and see what they have broke with this version of it.

    According to Apple's support page (https://developer.apple.com/support/app-store), 97% of users are using iOS 8 or later.

  • dredre Posts: 1,349Registered Users @ @ @ @
    bw748 wrote: »
    According to Apple's support page (https://developer.apple.com/support/app-store), 97% of users are using iOS 8 or later.

    Of course they're gonna say that... Heck, why not 99.99%?
  • iekeiiekei Posts: 565Registered Users @ @ @
    Some owners have never downloaded an app recently, some never, and some have never updated their OS since they bought their device.
  • dobrydobry Posts: 289Registered Users @ @
    bw748 wrote: »
    According to Apple's support page (https://developer.apple.com/support/app-store), 97% of users are using iOS 8 or later.
    5 % of my app users (min. iOS 7) running iOS 7, 5 % below iOS 7 (old app version), so 90 % using iOS 8 or later.
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