In a new press release, Apple has been surprisingly brutal in calling out developers who’re upset by recent changes to the App Store that had some developers being sent “App Store Improvement” notices.
In the “App Store Improvement” notices that developers were being sent, it was claimed by Apple that their apps had “not been updated in a significant amount of time,” and subsequently they were at risk of being removed from sale within the App Store, leaving it only accessible to those who’re already purchased or downloaded the app.
Unsurprisingly, after being posted to Twitter, these “App Store Improvement” notices caused a fair amount of backlash against Apple as developers claimed that constantly updating their apps was an unfair challenge that not every indie developer or hobbyist had time to do. Many developers also chose to point out that apps such as Pocket God hadn’t been updated in years yet were seemingly unaffected by this new policy.
Thanks to a new news post from Apple, we now know why long updated apps such as Pocket God haven’t been cleansed off the App Store, it’s because they’re popular.
Throughout the news post, Apple states that their “App Store Improvements process” isn’t just all about making sure apps have been updated sometime in the past three years, as there is also a “minimal download threshold” that apps must exceed as to not be labeled at risk for removal.
Sadly for the disgruntled developers who’ve received and complained about the “App Store Improvement” notices, this means that, according to Apple, their “app has not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period.”
I feel sick. Apple just sent me an email saying they're removing my free game Motivoto because its more than 2 years old.
It's part of their App improvement system.
This is not cool. Console games from 2000 are still available for sale.
This is an unfair barrier to indie devs. pic.twitter.com/7XNcLfiEcR
— Protopop Games (@protopop) April 23, 2022
Thankfully, this smackdown of a news post isn’t all bad news for developers, as in the post Apple notes that developers can appeal app removals if they wish to and, thanks to kicking up a fuss, developers now have up to 90 days to improve their apps, rather than just 30.