In the last month, Apple has sent numerous notices to developers notifying the app's creators that it would be removed from the App Store in 30 days if they do not provide an update.
Apple has since extended the deadline by 90 days and provided the reasoning for the policy in a recent blog post on their site.
In the post on their blog, for an application to be removed in the future, it must satisfy two requirements. First, it must have been unmodified in the past three years.
The second requirement is that it fails to satisfy a minimum threshold for downloading, which, according to the company, means that it shouldn't have been downloaded in any way or downloaded "extremely only a few times" during the last 12 months.
Apple justifies its decision to shut down these apps with the following reasons for its decision: app discovery, as well as security and privacy, and the user experience.
As per the firm, the removal of old applications from the App Store allows users to locate apps that match their needs more precisely and makes the latest apps more prominent.
The company says developers must update their apps to benefit from the most recent security and privacy features offered by Apple on both software and hardware.
Additionally, Apple says that keeping the applications up-to-date allows them to be compatible with the most current screen dimensions, SDKs, APIs, and other features that are available on the current versions of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
When Apple began to send these notices to developers, those who opposed the policy, mostly mobile game developers, claimed that the policy should not be applied to mobile games, no matter how old they are. Mobile game developers were able to compare mobile games with older console games that could be played on today's compatible platforms.
The App Store policy is going to cause a lot of problems for independent game developers who may be working as small-scale studios or all by themselves, since it's not always logical for them to invest the effort and time to keep multiple games up-to-date from time to time, particularly in the case that they're functioning in the way they were intended to, without any issue.
Apple's removal of outdated apps from the App Store
Apple could have started to enforce its policy more strictly against unusable and ineffective apps.
Then, in 2016, the company stated that it would go out of its way to get rid of applications that have stopped working, have not been updated with the latest standards, or have become obsolete.
Although it had not received much attention in the past few years, the policy was brought back to the forefront this week.
The Verge discovered the tweets through a series of tweets. A small group of independent developers received an email from Apple informing them that they needed to upgrade their games.
In its email, it states, "This application has not been updated for a long time, and it is set to be taken off the App Store in just thirty days." "You can keep this app for anyone new to the app to explore and download through the App Store by sending an update to be reviewed in the next thirty days."
Apple states that developers can earn money through microtransactions even if Apple takes their game or app off of the app store.
Furthermore, their applications continue to function for users who downloaded them on their mobile devices. A few users who posted images of the announcement on Twitter expressed concerns that the new policy unfairly affects developers with smaller budgets.
Apple has always tried its level best to include more and more modifications in iOS. So it can become the most secured mobile OS out there.
And, banning fraudulent and scamming apps is a prime example of that.
So, if you are a small-scale developer whose older app has not seen much traffic over a few months then maybe it's time for you to shock start your operations, otherwise, Apple will take down your app.