Programmatic Lunch

Apple Cracking Down on Non-functional and Out-of-date Apps

Alex Spencer

Pokemon Go App Store dominanceApple will next week start removing non-functioning and outdated apps from the App Store, in an attempt to make it easier for users to find the apps they are looking for.

The process will begin on 7 September, and applies across all categories on the Store. Apple says it is looking for apps that 'no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated'.

The developers of any such non-compliant apps will be contacted by the App Store team, and given 30 days to make any necessary changes. The exception is apps that crash on launch, which will be removed immediately, without warning.

Apps which get removed will remain available for users who have already downloaded them, with no interruption to functionality like in-app purchases. The app's name will also continue to be associated with the developer, so that others cannot come in and steal the name for themselves.

In another attempt to de-clutter the App Store, Apple is also fighting back against overly long names, according to a developer email obtained by TechCrunch. These names often feature a spammy amount of descriptors, sometimes irrelevant to the app's purpose, in an attempt to trick the App Store's search engine.

In future, any new apps – or updates to existing ones – will be limited to 50 characters, though there's no word on whether apps that break this rule will face removal.