Apple to begin removing abandoned and problematic apps from App Store next week

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2016
Apple on Thursday announced that it will make a pair of key changes to the iOS App Store starting next Wednesday, most notably a new effort to remove abandoned and problematic apps so they can no longer be downloaded.




The new policies were said to come from suggestions made by Apple's developer community, and will take effect starting Sept. 7 --?the same day the company is expected to unveil the "iPhone 7" and release a golden master of iOS 10.

Placing a focus on "quality apps," Apple said it will implement an ongoing process of evaluating legacy apps for issues. Developers will be appropriately notified before downloads are removed from the store.

"We know that many of you work hard to build innovative apps and update your apps on the App Store with new content and features," Apple said. "However, there are also apps on the App Store that no longer function as intended or follow current review guidelines, and others which have not been supported with compatibility updates for a long time."

The App Store has an approval process that all downloads must pass before they are released to the public. With more than 2 million apps available, some of them are essentially "abandonware," and Apple's new policy will give it the ability to clean up some legacy software.




In a question-and-answer section, Apple noted that apps in all categories on the App Store will be evaluated to make sure that they function as expected, that they follow current review guidelines, and that they are not outdated. Developers with apps that need to be updated will be given 30 days to keep their app on the store.

Apps that crash on launch will not have that 30-day window applied --?they will be immediately removed.

Removed apps will still be accessible to current users, and services will not be interrupted. However, new users will no longer be able to download the outdated app.

In addition, Apple also announced that it will curb app names with a new 50-character limit.

Apple noted on Thursday that some developers use "extremely long app names" in hopes of influencing search results. However, the names are so long that they do not appear in full on the App Store and are of no value to users.

Like the effort to remove outdated apps, the new 50-character policy on app names will take effect next Wednesday. Apple has advised that developers should view the App Store Product Page for tips on creating effective app names, icons, keywords, screenshots and descriptions.
dysamoria
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,391member
    Does this mean no more “fart” apps?
    dysamorialolliversteveh
  • Reply 2 of 25
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I was wondering about this the other day. I've paid for apps that have been long forgotten by the devs and I checked to see if they were still available.

    what if someone paid for these apps?

    An easy solution would be to remove these apps from the App Store but allow those who paid to be able to download them.
  • Reply 3 of 25
    There are still a lot of people with old iOS versions. I hope that Apple doesn’t through out apps that people can still use on those devices
    cali
  • Reply 4 of 25
    haarhaar Posts: 563member
    Good bye bioshock... Only worked on 8.3..
  • Reply 5 of 25
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    ppietra said:
    There are still a lot of people with old iOS versions. I hope that Apple doesn’t through out apps that people can still use on those devices
    I would assume they would still work ok those devices.


    One of Steve's criteria for an App to be on the App Store was that it couldn't crash.
    what happened?
    Did developers flood Apple with too many apps?
    I think when an App crashes it should send a report and warning to the developer that if it isn't fixed in 30 days the app will be removed.
    Keep the App Store clean and a cut above those crap apps on knockoff devices.
    lolliverdysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 25
    I suppose that many of these developers eventually graduated from grade school or got a real job and left their childhood interests, including developing Apps, behind.
    gregg thurmanasdasd
  • Reply 7 of 25
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    cali said:
    I was wondering about this the other day. I've paid for apps that have been long forgotten by the devs and I checked to see if they were still available.

    what if someone paid for these apps?

    An easy solution would be to remove these apps from the App Store but allow those who paid to be able to download them.
    It says in the article, 3 “paragraphs” below the second image, that people who already have the app will be able to access it, but new users will not be able to DL it.
    edited September 2016 teaearlegreyhotai46caligregg thurmanfastasleepmike1Deelronlolliverdysamoriajony0
  • Reply 8 of 25
    noivad said:
    cali said:
    I was wondering about this the other day. I've paid for apps that have been long forgotten by the devs and I checked to see if they were still available.

    what if someone paid for these apps?

    An easy solution would be to remove these apps from the App Store but allow those who paid to be able to download them.
    It says in the article, 3 “paragraphs” below the second image, that people who already have the app will be able to access it, but new users will not be able to DL it.
    Which is consistent with most other electronic storefronts.


    A lot of major devs remove their bad apps (Square Enix, for example) but some older ones don't. In many cases they haven't been updated since 2009 or before.

    Oddly, one of the first games on the App Store, Cube Runner, keeps getting updated for free, and it was a launch day title.
    jbdragonDeelronlolliver
  • Reply 9 of 25
    This is good news. 
    gregg thurmanmike1dysamoriaSpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 25
    About damn time. 
    gregg thurmandysamoria
  • Reply 11 of 25
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,262member
    ppietra said:
    There are still a lot of people with old iOS versions. I hope that Apple doesn’t through out apps that people can still use on those devices

    Define a lot, I do not believe there are many phones on a version of iOS below 7 or 8 which are the 64 bit iOS. Apple stated this year all apps must be 64 bit compliant and if they are not most likely the developer does not care about the app. Plus if it is on your phone and apple removed it from the store you can still use plus you can also back it up your computer to be reinstalled later. I have an app which is no longer available which I use on my iPad 2 on iOS 9 so it is not an issue.

    It is about time Apple clears out the crap, there are lots of apps which have poor ratings do not work well and the developer has done nothing with the app for years.

    edited September 2016 caligregg thurmanjbdragondysamorialolliver
  • Reply 12 of 25
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,283member
    lkrupp said:
    Does this mean no more “fart” apps?
    Only if they're not updated to 64-shit, I mean bit.
    edited September 2016 gregg thurmanjbdragoncommand_f
  • Reply 13 of 25
    ppietra said:
    There are still a lot of people with old iOS versions. I hope that Apple doesn’t through out apps that people can still use on those devices
    I'm one of them! I had an iPad 1. I paid for some apps that get rotten with new ‘updates.’
    Of course developers would not pay attention to ‘old’ apps but… Should users also be dumped?

    Maybe Apple can make some organization of the AppStore around iOS version, at least an easy way of looking for apps for an specific system release.
    Many times I get bored before passing all the new versions.
  • Reply 14 of 25
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,283member
    lmasanti said:
    ppietra said:
    There are still a lot of people with old iOS versions. I hope that Apple doesn’t through out apps that people can still use on those devices
    I'm one of them! I had an iPad 1. I paid for some apps that get rotten with new ‘updates.’
    Of course developers would not pay attention to ‘old’ apps but… Should users also be dumped?

    Maybe Apple can make some organization of the AppStore around iOS version, at least an easy way of looking for apps for an specific system release.
    Many times I get bored before passing all the new versions.
    Why would users be dumped? I didn't read anything that suggested that those who have used the app in the past would no longer have access to it after the update to iOS 10.
    gregg thurmanmike1lolliver
  • Reply 15 of 25
    I have an app called TouchMines installed on my iPads.  The iPads are the 4th generation and iPad Air 2.  After updating them last year to iOS 9.0 only the 4th gen iPad the app works.  On the iPad Air 2, it would crash and go back to the home screen.  I really like the game app.  Just hope the developer will update it.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    This is long overdue. Gone are the days when numbers of apps legitimized the App Store. There is so much junk there now that it's difficult to find legitimate stuff you are lookin for. My fear is that they won't go far enough. 

    How about two separate stores: App Store and Grandma's Attic where all the me-too and junk apps are kept?
    edited September 2016 calidysamorialolliver
  • Reply 17 of 25
    Good move. I'd also like to see them enforce a requirement for Apps to be optimised for iPhone 6 & Plus sized displays. My carrier's Wi-Fi calling and messaging App is still running in stretched iPhone 5 format two years after the iPhone 6 came out. That is all the way crazy.
    caligregg thurmanlolliver
  • Reply 18 of 25
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    noivad said:
    cali said:
    I was wondering about this the other day. I've paid for apps that have been long forgotten by the devs and I checked to see if they were still available.

    what if someone paid for these apps?

    An easy solution would be to remove these apps from the App Store but allow those who paid to be able to download them.
    It says in the article, 3 “paragraphs” below the second image, that people who already have the app will be able to access it, but new users will not be able to DL it.
    Sorry I speed read and skipped that whole paragraph on accident. Thanks makes sense.

    How about those crappy 1-2 star apps? Would love to see them removed but that's kinda mean.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    Apple has long been a leader in making products wherein upgrading the OS is easy and free for the next 5 years.  That said, OS upgrades have always negatively impacted some aspects of Apps not similarly upgraded.  Also, older Apple products do not always support full functionality of the new OS.

    Developers are very aware of this, and always have been.

    There is no excuse for not upgrading Apps, or devices once every three years (if App use is important to the user).  Beyond 3 years the user's iPhone isn't much more than a highly featured feature phone with a very weak battery.
  • Reply 20 of 25
    Well, this spells the end for Akai SynthStation. Self-inflicted injury there. See the reviews.

    This is very late in coming, but welcome. It's not nearly enough though. The App Store needs a major rebuild. It needs a much better review system with the ability to mark reviews as "useful", "not useful", and FAKE! The App Store also needs to bring back the damned "REPORT" feature so users can report apps that violate Apple's App Store TOS! If Apple isn't going to police its store content, the users should be given at least some ability to do so themselves. Fake reviews and feature-disabled/time-limited demos don't belong, but I continue to encounter them weekly.

    It has been in Apple's own marketing interests to allow the store to attain a huge app count via allowing garbage apps to collect and persist (the last two years of Apple events, every time they bragged about the huge number of apps on the store, it felt slimy and dishonest to me). Whether it has helped Apple or not, it has absolutely worked against developers and users.

    There's so much that needs to change here.
    robin hubermacseekercommand_f
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