The time is long overdue. Out with the old, in with the new, and along the way we’ll stop talking about how many apps line the iPhone App Store which has been littered with years of abandonware; apps that have failed to be updated by neglectful app developers.
Apple’s great app store purge is underway.
My iPhone is home to way too many applications, thanks to the occasional review, a morbid curiosity that borders on fetish, and far too many of them haven’t been updated to run on iOS 9, let alone iOS 10. Apple is right to demand the upgrades or face extinction.
A few months ago Apple sent a letter to its iOS developer community.
We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated
It’s about time.
The purge of more than 2-million iOS apps for iPhone and iPad is underway, but other changes are taking place beyond the house cleaning. Apple is cleaning up application names so searches for apps become more relevant. App names must be shorter than 50 characters.
The initial review began back in September with a simple test. If an application crashed, Apple removed the app from the App Store. Developers were warned that apps must be updated to meet new guidelines or face removal after 30 days.
Some reports say Apple may have deleted nearly 50,000 apps in October alone (the average is about 14,000 per month). Apple claims that the App Store receives 100,000 new and updated apps each week and there are still more than 2-million available.
One question we could ask is, “What took you so long, Apple?”
Seriously. The iOS and Mac App Stores have been a mess for a long time, more so under the guidance of Eddy Cue than Phil Schiller, so I’m willing to cut Apple some slack just for the change in leadership.
Along with the application purge Apple needs to adjust the search process. What’s the difference between Highest Rating and Most Popular? To Mac and iPhone app developers I would ask that you tread slowly and carefully into the freemium and subscription arena. I’m willing to try a new app but I want access to all the features, and though developers likely are proud of their wares, an $8-a month subscription for an email app seems ludicrous when Microsoft Office and Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom are priced nearly the same.
Every technology company has problem children; products that need to be brought up to modern standards but have such baggage than almost any change is disruptive; for Apple it’s to both customers and developers. A purge can be good for the soul and good for a company that has allowed cruft to build up on products used by hundreds of millions of customers.
This purge is long overdue, and should be but one of many.