Monday, September 26, 2022

Outdated vs. Complete Apps

Vivian Qu (tweet):

When I was at Pinterest, I helped in communications with our dedicated App Store representative who would expedite Pinterest app updates through the review process. I have seen first-hand the lack of support for indie apps compared to the white glove experience that large companies get.


I opened the message and was greeted with the “App Store Improvement Notice”. I was essentially told that I hadn’t updated my app in three years and now it counts as outdated. I needed to update the app within 90 days or it would get automatically taken down.


If there had been an actual reviewer who checked my outdated app, they would have discovered that I architected the app from the beginning to dynamically scale the UI so it resizes to fit the latest iPhone devices.


Beyond the financial cost, what is the most insulting to me about Apple’s policy is how poorly thought out their measure of “quality” is for apps. The message contains two separate statements about my app: (1) it hasn’t been updated in three years, and (2) it doesn’t meet a “minimum download threshold.” Fixing either of those so-called problems doesn’t magically mean my app will be a high-quality, positive experience for users.

The undocumented “minimum download threshold” seems to be saying that you can buy lots of App Store search ads to be exempt from the requirement to have an updated app—then you’re welcome to inflict it on lots of users.


Update (2022-10-14): See also: Hacker News.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

I have an app on the store that was last updated "for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus" and it's still chugging along. I've been wondering about it for a while so I just went to check...

There have been about 3500 downloads since the last update in 2014, an average of a little over one per day. The busiest week saw 53 downloads. There were 126 weeks with 10 or more downloads, and 80 weeks with fewer than five.

We usually just hear about the apps that fall below the line, I wonder how many others are scraping by just above it and how low their numbers are.

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