Apple is removing apps that haven't been updated in a while

Daniel Sims

Posts: 448   +18
Staff
Why it matters: Apple and Google are taking measures to ensure apps stay up-to-date with the latest versions of their operating systems. While it can be good for security and usability, not everyone can easily update their old apps. What happened to the days when an app or a game was just done?

Late last week, developer Protopop Games tweeted that Apple planned to remove its game, Motivoto, from sale on its app store because it hadn't updated it in over three years. Apple's email said Potopop could keep the game on the store by submitting an update within 30 days. Apple's support page confirms this is part of a new policy to evaluate older apps.

Apple has started to evaluate apps it thinks may be outdated. If those apps have issues, the company will notify developers similarly to how it informed Protopop. However, Apple will immediately remove older apps that crash on launch. After removal, users who have already downloaded an app can keep using and redownloading it. Removed apps will also remain on the developers' accounts so they can keep the apps' names.

However, updating old apps might not be simple or even possible for everyone. Protopop explained that updating Motivoto to the latest version of the Unity engine, rebuilding, retesting, and resubmitting it will take a long time. Confusingly, Apple didn't tell the app maker if there was a technical issue with the game, which could've saved time during testing. In response to Protopop's tweet, one developer mentioned that it had spent weeks rebuilding multiple delisted games.

Another developer, Kosta Eleftheriou, complained that Apple removed a keyboard app he designed for the visually impaired after two years without updates. He then pointed out Apple's own movie trailers app, which the company hasn't updated since 2017.

The Twitter account for Fire Biscuit Games revealed that players still ask where they can download its 2013 title Mighty Dungeons. Unfortunately, the developer can't update it to maintain a presence on the Apple or Google Play app stores because the game's engine no longer receives updates. Currently, Mighty Dungeons is only available on PC or as an Android APK file Fire Biscuit has hosted on Google Drive.

Later this year, Google will begin hiding apps that have gone over two years without updates to ensure new users download apps that keep up with the latest Android APIs. Apple's plan doesn't have a solid line for an app's age before it comes under scrutiny.

Both companies don't want unsuspecting users to download broken apps on the latest firmware or have old security holes. However, Apple seems to be taking those apps down without consideration for smaller developers.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,202   +4,236
We've heard of planned obsolescence but this is a new low, forced obsolescence: You need to both prove a vulnerability then show it specifically for this to be justified otherwise well, it's just abuse and should not only be met with a class suit but with just more ammunition in their anti-trust cases with EU regulators to force them to allow side loading and external revenue systems otherwise well, they can just decide "You can't make money out of perfectly good code cause we say it's old"
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,424   +2,405
Another case of Apple being Apple. I'm amazed how the company seems to keep surprising people with their questionable tactics!

Are humans really Goldfish??
 
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psycros

Posts: 4,142   +5,768
We've heard of planned obsolescence but this is a new low, forced obsolescence: You need to both prove a vulnerability then show it specifically for this to be justified otherwise well, it's just abuse and should not only be met with a class suit but with just more ammunition in their anti-trust cases with EU regulators to force them to allow side loading and external revenue systems otherwise well, they can just decide "You can't make money out of perfectly good code cause we say it's old"

Actually, Microsoft and a number of billion-dollar-plus application companies have been doing forced obsolescence for a while now.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,025   +768
I had a look at this game on Google play - seems to get some favourable reviews - Install on your devices .
Google checks combability to devices .

Imagine an Apple User iPhone 5 - free game - they love .
Lose their phone - get another iPhone 5 or 6 - can they still download it ?

This happens on Android - only if you pay for a game you keep it .
Some free games disappear if device broken/ lost - maybe just removed or now IP is valuable they removed those cheap free games that had only an advert at start of game .

As stated you can download Flashpoint to play old flash games - can even download the debugger flashplayer here on Techspot .
Ie These companies don't care about your memories.

Imagine some old person losing newer memories ( very common )- they could play older stuff they remember and enjoyed
Lots of older peoples keep childhood memories and fun time memories from long ago - so a baker can still bake .

This is peoples media disappearing - want to watch Gunsmoke and Bonanza - probably still can - but unless someone collects them - how would a old person relive fun days playing with kids , grandchildren , their own young self .

Revisiting an old game can be fun - see another story about Sytemshock .
People travel back to their roots
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,000   +711
We've heard of planned obsolescence but this is a new low, forced obsolescence: You need to both prove a vulnerability then show it specifically for this to be justified otherwise well, it's just abuse and should not only be met with a class suit but with just more ammunition in their anti-trust cases with EU regulators to force them to allow side loading and external revenue systems otherwise well, they can just decide "You can't make money out of perfectly good code cause we say it's old"
Apple continues to prove it is out of touch with reality.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,349   +2,869
TechSpot Elite
Another day, another opportunity for me to bask in the legitimacy of my complete contempt for the smartphone paradigm.
Legitimate though it may be (and I agree that it is legitimate), it's only as effective as a Baby-Boomer's contempt for computers in general, as in, not at all. That's why I just said "screw it" and got on board before I got left behind like so many others have.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,000   +711
Legitimate though it may be (and I agree that it is legitimate)
Opinion.
it's only as effective as a Baby-Boomer's contempt for computers in general, as in, not at all.
I'm not a boomer and I have contempt for this. It's not a generational problem. It's a problem about rights. When people pay for something, they have the moral, ethical and legal right to use that something for as long as THEY deem needed, not on the whims of corporate Stalinist's like Tim Cook.