‘Old Apps Sometimes Die’

Matt Deatherage, writing for MDJ:

Is this unfair to apps that were complete years ago, like games? Others made the point that Gruber expressed most succinctly: “Pixar doesn’t have re-render Toy Story every couple of years.” That’s true, but the VHS tape of Toy Story you bought in 1996 does not work on your Apple TV box attached to your 8K TV. You can watch it on that TV with a VCR, but then again, that’s the device for which that tape was designed and on which you intended to play it. If you want the 4K HD version, you have to buy it — and you can, because Pixar did the work to create that version.

Good piece that digs deeper into an issue I admittedly glossed over because, well, I didn’t feel like doing the digging. It’s always tough to make analogies between software and anything else because nothing is quite like software.

One thing I’ve heard from a few developers this week is that developers who got this email from Apple, warning them that their app or game in the App Store would be removed if they weren’t updated, should be able to just appeal to Apple with an explanation vouching that the app continues to work just fine on iOS 15.4 and that Apple should grant the appeal. Apple isn’t culling older apps willy-nilly or blindly. They’re just culling — for lack of a better term — abandonware. The other thing I’ve heard is that this isn’t new — Apple has been doing this every few months for at least five years. This time around it caught the attention of the press.

So my advice to any developers who got this email (or who get similar emails in the future) about apps that are working just fine is to appeal. Apple’s automated emails to developers ought to mention this, though.

Friday, 29 April 2022