Late last week, controversy erupted after Apple began notifying some developers that their apps that had not been updated in some time would be removed from the App Store as part of an “‌App Store‌ Improvements” project to clean up “outdated” apps.

Many of the affected developers objected to Apple’s policy, noting that their apps continued to function just fine despite a lack of updates, highlighting the amount of work that might be needed to submit even a minor update, and pointing out that many apps can exist as finished works without a need for continual updates.

Apple has now shared a new developer update clarifying its ‌App Store‌ Improvements policies and extending the amount of time it is giving developers to update their affected apps from 30 days to 90 days.

Apple says that apps that have not been updated within the past three years and which do not meet a minimum threshold for downloads (“not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period”) are subject to the policy, with developers receiving notices via email.

As part of the App Store Improvements process, developers of apps that have not been updated within the last three years and fail to meet a minimal download threshold — meaning the app has not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period — receive an email notifying them that their app has been identified for possible removal from the App Store.

Developers can either appeal the pending removal or submit an update within 90 days in order to keep their apps live on the ‌App Store‌. Apps that are removed will continue to function normally for users who previously downloaded them.

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