Apple May Have Begun a New Push to Remove Outdated Software From the App Store
Apple promised to remove outdated and dysfunctional mobile apps from the iOS App Store. But the number of removed apps has gone up 238% in October, according to Sensor Tower. This increase was most prominent in mobile games. While the company initially gave developers until October to save their apps, it failed to do so. This may have contributed to the spike in app removals. However, Apple may have been more proactive in cleaning up the App Store this time around.
While it’s unclear what’s driving the Epic games’ latest moves, some think it has a lot more to do with the way they’re making money than the App Store. If Epic is trying to cut down on their costs by charging developers less, this could be a bad sign for the App Store as a whole. But it’s also possible that Epic’s push has other consequences as well. If they’re trying to take down more than one app, it could spell trouble for a number of companies.
If Epic succeeds in its lawsuit against Apple, it will be able to make its case with two key objectives: public opinion and increasing business pressure. The former is easier to win as Epic has built a large community around Fortnite. Unlike Fortnite, which is not widely available in other markets, an antitrust case against Apple is not easy to win. But for now, Epic has a solid case, and they may be right.
For their part, Epic has already increased the number of free games in the App Store. During October, the developer gave away a new free game every week, which has already garnered enough attention to attract new users to the store. The push to remove outdated software is a step in the right direction, but it also means a lot of work remains to be done. If this happens, there is a possibility that the App Store may soon become a relic of the past.
Apple’s cloak-and-dagger Review Board has been causing some problems for developers, and a recent App Store ban against Knitrino may have led to a fresh push against outdated apps. The App Store rejects around 40% of submissions due to the completeness of their application. Other reasons include technical bugs, broken links, substandard user interfaces, and misleading content. While Apple does not require reviews to be completed within 24 hours, many developers must submit their applications within 48 hours. After many unsuccessful attempts to submit their software to the App Store, Knitrino eventually received approval from Apple.
Knitrino, a Seattle-based knitting startup, argued with Apple to get their app approved. They realized they had little choice if their app didn’t find a home in the digital marketplace. The startup filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit arguing that Apple’s policies limit innovation, drive up consumer costs, and reduce choice. The lawsuit against Apple’s policies is still ongoing, but Knitrino filed an appeal to the review board within 19 minutes.
The appeals process is underway and is likely to lead to a final decision on the Epic versus Apple lawsuit this year. While the case may end in a final decision this year, the Knitrino sisters began selling stickers emblazoned with the phrase “Unravel Apple” as a back-up plan for possible retaliation.
Knitrino’s lawsuit against Apple
The company has filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the company has overcharged up to 20 million UK App Store users with its in-app purchase policies. The suit claims that the company overcharged customers by as much as 30%, and it seeks to recover that amount in damages. The suit claims that Apple has violated the EU’s anti-trust laws by imposing the 30% commission on in-app purchases. The suit also claims that Apple’s policies are anti-competitive because it would have launched a competing app store instead.
Epic Games and Knitrino’s case against Apple have a similar story. Epic Games has sued Apple in the past, saying it violated the Sherman Act by allowing the company to sell physical goods through its in-app system. Knitrino filed an appeal to the review board, which was rejected in 19 minutes. After that, the company appealed to a higher court and finally received approval.
While the Supreme Court rejected the case against Knitrino, other lawsuits are underway. In North Dakota, a state senator rejected a similar legislation, but the Supreme Court has yet to rule on it. It remains to be seen if Apple will appeal. In the meantime, the company is hoping for a settlement. If they lose, Apple is unlikely to appeal its case, but it may be a beginning of a new push to remove outdated software from the App Store.
Knitrino’s appeal of Fortnite’s removal from App Store
In a recent court decision, Judge Gonzalez Rogers sided with Apple on all critical points, rejecting Fortnite’s appeal of its removal. Epic’s appeal, filed after Fortnite’s removal from the App Store, was denied, but the judge felt that taking away developers’ access to their separate developer accounts would be detrimental to them. Furthermore, the judge ruled that Apple’s aggressive actions in targeting separate contracts were unwarranted.
The first legal response to Epic’s lawsuit was lengthy and argued that Apple’s actions were similar to shoplifting. The developer, however, added a proprietary payment system that bypassed Apple’s 30% commission on purchases. As a result, the game had a dedicated following across several gaming platforms. Apple’s stance echoed a recent lawsuit filed by Epic Games by former employees.
The developers’ appeal of Epic Games’ removal from the App Store may have prompted a new push to remove outdated software from the App Store. Epic Games’ decision was criticized by critics as a sign that the company has no business competing with a third-party app store. Apple and Google have both been accused of antitrust violations in the App Store.
Epic Games’ request for alternative payment mechanisms
If you’re a developer, you’ve probably noticed that Apple has begun a new era in purging obsolete apps from the App Store. This time, Apple is targeting outdated apps that don’t follow its review guidelines and haven’t been updated to incorporate new features and APIs. Luckily, this move won’t eliminate your apps completely. There will still be some in the App Store, but you’ll be able to download them if you have them installed on your device.
Apple has promised to remove unused and outdated apps from the App Store for years, but the policy has only recently come to light. The policy hasn’t received much attention until recent emails from indie developers saying that they’d been asked to update their games, or else their apps would be removed. As a result, there is now a new way to appeal for your apps to stay on the App Store.
While the lawsuit against Epic did not challenge whether the company followed the guidelines, it is arguing against the policies of the App Store, particularly the 30% commission on in-app purchases. The lawsuit argues that these policies are anti-competitive and would have forced Epic Gaming Entertainment to create a competing app store. This new policy could have prompted Apple to stop updating their app store, affecting thousands of developers.
Knitrino’s complaint against Knitrino’s removal from App Store
Apple’s review board rejected Knitrino’s app, but it later approved it because it provided physical goods as part of the fulfillment of an App Store purchase. Apple has a policy against selling physical goods through the in-app payment system, which made Knitrino’s rejection particularly frustrating. Apple also allows developers to use external payment processors, which Epic later sued because it was infringing on its terms. After this rejection, Knitrino made changes to the app and applied again for approval. Apple rejected the app, but later approved it after receiving a complaint, despite the fact that it had violated the guidelines.
The Seattle-based startup joined the Epic team in the lawsuit, and it also signed an amicus brief to defend Epic’s actions. It also signed a friend-of-the-court brief, which said that Apple’s policies hinder innovation, reduce consumer choice, and drive up costs. Apple’s legal team claims that the company’s policies are necessary to protect its customers.
According to its complaint against Apple’s denial of its application, “Apple has too much control over what users can and cannot install,” which is completely illogical. Regardless of the underlying reasons, Apple’s stance against Knitrino’s removal from the App Store is unwarranted, given the importance of its product to knitters.