Apple Cracking Down on Abandoned Apps
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Apple is looking to do a little cleaning of the App Store, mainly to remove abandoned apps, apps that use giant descriptions as their titles and those that haven't been tweaked to work with modern Apple hardware. The company sent an email to its large developer community today to go over its new pruning procedure, which officially kicks off on Sept. 7.
"Quality is extremely important to us. 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. 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. We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps for these issues, notifying their developers and removing problematic and abandoned apps from the App Store," reads Apple's message.
According to Apple, any app in any category could be affected if it runs afoul of the company's current guidelines. If you're an app developer and your app has been flagged, Apple will ask you to make changes if you want the app to stay on the App Store. There's one special exception, though. If your app crashes when Apple's testers try to use it, it's going to be pulled from the App Store immediately.
If you have significant changes to make in order to keep your app in compliance with Apple's guidelines (and running successfully on its latest devices), you might be in for some trouble, however. App developers will have 30 days from the notification to bring their apps into compliance or else the offending app will be pulled from the App Store until these changes are made. That doesn't delete the app from your developer account, however, and users will still be able to access it if they've already downloaded it to their devices.
"They will experience no interruption to services and will still be able to buy in-app purchases. However, we recommend that you update your app as soon as possible to reinstate it on the App Store and ensure that it remains functional and engaging for new and existing customers," Apple said.
As for the names aspect, Apple is now enforcing a 50-character limit for all app titles. And developers only have themselves to blame for that -- at least, the ones trying to game Apple's search results by using unwieldy names for their apps.
"Search is one of the most frequently used methods for customers to discover and download apps from the App Store. In hopes of influencing search results, some developers have used extremely long app names which include descriptions and terms not directly related to their app. These long names are not fully displayed on the App Store and provide no user value. App names you submit in iTunes Connect for new apps and updates will now be limited to no longer than 50 characters," reads Apple's announcement.