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Apple Plans To Boot Orphaned Apps From its App Store

September 2, 2016, 4:55 PM UTC
Inside An Orange SA Mobile Phone Store
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images

Apple plans a review of its App Store that could end up with a number of apps being booted for violating the marketplace’s rules.

Apple said this week that it would be on the lookout for apps that don’t work as they had initially intended or fail to follow its review guidelines. The review is to begin Sept. 7.

“To make it easier for customers to find great apps that fit their needs, we want to ensure that apps available on the App Store are functional and up-to-date,” Apple wrote on a support page for app developers. “We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.”

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Apple’s (AAPL) App Store has become a critical outlet for app developers trying to reach owners of iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs since its launch in 2008. Since its debut, Apple and its developers have generated billions of dollars in revenue from the sale of those apps.

However, among the estimated 2 million apps are some that haven’t been updated for years or have long been abandoned. To fix that, Apple says that it would evaluate all apps across all categories in its App Store. If the company finds a problem with an app, it says it will contact that app’s developer and require that it be fixed within 30 days. If the changes are not made in time, Apple will remove the app from the App Store.

Apple added that any app that crashes immediately after it’s opened would be immediately removed from the App Store. It advised developers to proactively remove apps from the App Store if they are no longer maintaining it.

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Users won’t necessarily lose access to apps on their devices that end up being removed, according to Apple. The company says that users can continue to use such apps without any “interruption to services.”

“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 wrote on its support page.

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The start of Apple’s App Store scrubbing coincides with a media event it plans in San Francisco on Sept. 7 that is widely believed to be for the premiere of the iPhone 7. Apple has long used its press events to tout the number of apps it offers across its marketplace. Now, it’s looking to whittle that number down to only those apps that are still being supported and deliver some value to users.