Over the past couple of days, there have been reports that Apple is actively removing older, outdated apps. And new information suggests that the iPhone 14 will miss on a number of features coming exclusively to the iPhone 14 Pro.
Apple ditches the deadwood?
As first noted by The Verge, Apple is planning to remove huge swathes of seemingly outdated apps from the App Store. This is part of an effort to ensure that customers find it easier to find the right apps, that apps continue to be functional and use the latest APIs and developer guidelines.
Apple notes the following on its developer page:
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. 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of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.Apple
Developers will be informed of possible app removal with an ‘App Improvement Notice’. The notice advises developers that they’ll have 30 days to bring their app up to date with the latest guidelines and to ensure it remains functional.
This app has not been updated for a significant amount of time and is scheduled to be removed from sale in 30 days. No action is required for the app to remain available to users who have already downloaded the app.Apple
You can keep this app available for new users to discover and download from the App Storey submitting an update for review within 30 days.
If no update is submitted within 30 days, the app will be removed from sale.
The AppleTLDR take
Some developers that have received this notice are concerned by this action. Particularly those who feel that their app does not require any further/active development. Or put simply is a complete project. And while that may be true in some cases, there are millions of apps that don’t support the latest size classes or haven’t scaled well. And may not offer some of the latest features or be in compliance with user interface guidelines. This process should offer a bump in quality and user experience. For concerned developers who have apps that are functional albeit haven’t been updated in a while, a minor 0.0.x update containing even the tiniest of changes should suffice. But it would be useful for Apple to offer a ‘re-review’ option to save these developers from making any changes at all.
The iPhone 14 to miss out
As per the latest edition of his Sunday newsletter, Apple analyst Mark Gurman outlines some disappointing news for the standard iPhone 14 model. It’s thought that Apple is seeking to more widely differentiate the iPhone 14 from the iPhone 14 Pro when compared to previous years. And according to Gurman, the company will achieve this in various ways.
Firstly, the rumoured 48-megapixel wide camera is to be an exclusive feature to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. The standard iPhone 14 will continue to use a 12-megapixel system. Secondly, the iPhone 14 will continue to use the A15 chip currently found in the iPhone 13. Or in the alternative, a more powerful variant. But the device won’t receive the very latest A16 chip. Instead, this is being reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro. Finally, Apple intends to reduce the size of the notch on the iPhone 14 Pro by transitioning to a hole punch and pill-shaped camera cutouts. Something that the iPhone 14 will not receive.
If these reports are accurate, it isn’t clear what will actually change in the iPhone 14. It sounds like it won’t receive major camera upgrades or major changes to the display and it won’t receive a meaningfully new update to its processor. Given these claims, the iPhone 14 may be a particularly hard sell and is likely to result in increased demand for the Pro model. Perhaps this is Apple’s intent though it remains to be seen.