Apple has extended its deadline for outdated apps to be removed from the App Store from 30 days to 90 days. After Apple announced the policy regarding the removal of outdated apps as part of its App Store Improvements, it was expected that the company would change its short deadline to cater to developer complaints.
The company has posted a new update on its developer website titled “Clarifying criteria & new timing extension for App Store Improvements process”. This much-needed update explains the criteria and the reason behind the removal process.
App Store developers now have 90 days to update their apps
Removing outdated apps helps improve discoverability for apps that are regularly updated. The App Store has millions of apps, and search results are an important place for users to discover useful apps.
The process also ensures that only apps that have the latest security and privacy updates are available to customers for installation on their devices. Apple continuously releases updates for developers, including changes like App Store privacy nutrition labels, that help improve user privacy and security. Apps that have not been updated over the past few years are unlikely to be up to date with the latest requirements.
Lastly, apps that are up to date with the latest SDKs and support the latest screen sizes for iPhones and iPads ensure that users get the best experience from the App Store. This is something outdated apps miss out on.
In the announcement, Apple outlined the criteria for app removal based on whether it has been updated in the last three years or not, as well as whether it meets the minimal downloads threshold over the past year. Apple notifies developers when their apps meet this criteria.
As part of the App Store Improvements process, developers of apps that have not been updated within the last three years and fail to meet a minimal download threshold — meaning the app has not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period — receive an email notifying them that their app has been identified for possible removal from the App Store.
To give developers sufficient time to update their apps, Apple has also changed the deadline from 30 days to 90 days, which will give them enough time to make changes and improvements to their apps so that they can provide better value, attract downloads, and ensure a good user experience for users. Users who have already downloaded their apps can continue to use them on their devices.