Does Apple Remove Obsolete Apps from App Store?

Samanta Blumberg


Does Apple Remove Obsolete Apps from App Store?

According to numerous public complaints, Apple started forcing developers to update their apps if they haven’t done it recently. So, your favorite game or productivity app that performed well in recent years may be just deleted unless updated. What’s the reason behind this new policy except for articulated security concerns?

In spring 2022, developers who have published their apps on App Store started receiving warnings from Apple. These letters, titled “App Improvement Notice”, warned them that their apps would be removed from App Store unless they submit an update within 30 days. Many of the developers whom Apple sent these alerts made posts about it on social media.

According to the letter, those who have already downloaded the app will be able to keep it, but new downloads would not be possible after the removal. Even on devices running older versions of iOS, compatibility with the latest ones is not the issue. Still, many developers (especially those making standalone games with no cloud services required at all) find this policy rather destructive. Among them, there is Emilia Lazer-Walker a bunch of whose games also got deleted. According to Lazer-Walker, no incompatibility or other issues occurred, but just the company wanted the developers to follow its API updates.

In fact, the first statements about this policy were made by Apple no later than in 2016. Apple named security and compatibility concerns as the reason. But those with iPhone 6s and earlier devices still performing well may argue. For them, these apps and games are mostly not obsolete.

What do you think about this policy? Has any of your favorite games or productivity apps been removed for that reason? Or maybe you encountered this issue as a developer yourself? Tell us your story in the comments!