Apple’s recently announced plan to get rid of older apps from the App Store may be a nuisance to some developers, but with more than 1 million apps abandoned across Google and Apple’s App Stores, the evidence supports it. the decision.
What Apple said about its plans
In an April note to developers, Apple warned of its intentions start removing old apps that have not been updated for three years or more and had seen few downloads in the previous 12 months.
“We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, do not follow current revised guidelines, or are out of date,” the company said.
Developers immediately started complaining about the policy, and one of the strongest arguments was that a minority of apps that are no longer updated can be seen as some kind of digital artwork captured in time.
Stung by the criticism, Apple later he clarified his approach. He explained that he has been following this policy since 2016 and has so far removed 2.8 million apps that no longer operate as planned, do not follow current revised guidelines, or are simply outdated.
The company also explained that developers can appeal against planned transfers and extended the time before transfer to 90 days, giving even smaller developers a chance to bring their app in line with Apple requirements.
Why Apple had to act
But for all the criticism, Apple’s decision to remove the apps it makes available in its store makes a lot of sense, according to the Report on Abandoned Mobile Apps from the fraud protection company Pixalate.
Pixalate has found more than 1.5 million abandoned apps over the more than 5 million it checked in the Google Play and Apple App Stores – and only 1.3 million apps updated in the last six months.
Interestingly, and perhaps blamed on some Apple critics, 58% of the 500,000 or so apps that have gone more than five years without an update are in the Apple store. In other words, Apple had little choice but to take action to remove such software.
The report also found that 650,000 iOS apps have not been updated in more than two years.
Interestingly, the report notes a strong correlation between regular software updates and app downloads. 84% of apps have been found to have been updated with over 100 million downloads in the last six months, with financial, health and shopping apps being the most frequently updated.
Why are abandoned old apps a problem?
There are a lot of problems with old apps that you don’t love – they may not work on current iOS editions, they may contain code that is no longer supported so features may not work, or they may relying on bad trade code that can be difficult to generate software conflicts. But the big reason is security.
Abandoned applications may host malware or other vulnerabilities that have never been identified, as developers lost interest before these flaws were identified.
[Also read: Google slowly follows Apple in app-tracking lockdown]
I think Apple is raising police force to force developers to comply with its user privacy efforts. He really has little choice. Think of it this way: just as a relatively small number of developers complaining about app deletion have generated online coverage, so too have any terrible breaches of user privacy caused by old and careless apps distributed through their repository.
Both Apple and Google need to prepare for further regulation. For example, in the UK, there is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). launched a consultation to develop a voluntary code of practice to protect consumers from malicious apps.
“The key intervention being proposed by the government at this initial stage is a voluntary code of practice for all app store operators and developers,” DCMS said. “It simply came to our notice then [recognize] The current most effective way to protect scale users from malicious and insecure apps, and to ensure that developers improve their practices, is through app stores. ”
I am Look at the suggestions; the extent to which they justify Apple’s approach to app privacy and security is remarkable.
What comes next?
Eliminating thousands of apps they don’t love may be a big deal, but it’s not as dramatic as you might think.
Currently, there is Apple Approve 1,000 new apps every day in the App Store, which means that a wide selection of software is still available despite disposing of the apps they do not love. Only apps that are out of date and whose developers cannot comply with Apple’s specified policy are missing out.
If there is one other thing to take into account it is in a particular case forced regulatory changes on Apple, we will see many app stores appear, and not all will be equal. Some will not have the same level of regulation, which implies less consumer protection. Sideloading app containing malicious code more problem than ever, as malicious apps will first become hosts of malware later because they were carrying vulnerabilities in the first place and never patched.
One way Apple will be able to withstand less ethical competition is by duplicating apps distributed through its store. It will work to make apps more private and secure and ensure that its App Store environment continues to be the safest and most convenient place to shop.
To ensure that their apps remain available in Apple’s app store, developers will need to be as committed to their software as Apple is to their platforms, which means regular patches, enhancements, and upgrades.
Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.
Why Apple has to dispose of old and unsupported App Store apps
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