Apple will start pruning old, broken apps next week

If you have long had your eye on an old iOS or Mac app for some years now, you might want to install it before September 7th. That's because, after that date, it has a chance to disappear, especially if it is considered ancient by Apple's standards. The company has just revealed that it will be making an inventory of its App Store and will be removing apps that outdated, broken, or haven't been updated in a long time. This is to make sure that actually usable apps aren't buried beneath search results listing such "unworthy" apps.

It's been nearly a decade since the App Store launched, so it has naturally gathered some cruft over the years. While some app developers have been conscientious in keeping up with Apple's changing rules, others may have gotten up and left for other pastures, leaving their apps in the process. It's only fitting, then, that Apple would finally start sifting through the thousands of apps that are not only taking up space but also negatively impacting the user experience.

Apple's team will be going through each and every app to see how fit they are to remain on the App Store. Any app that crashes at launch, on current iOS versions, will be given the boot immediately. Apps that no longer function as described will also be removed, but with a 30 day prior notice to developers.

Apple will have none of those apps that do not comply with current guidelines, even if they did when the app was originally launched. That could possibly mean that perfectly working apps that still use designs from the earliest versions of iOS won't make the cut. It does imply, in that case, that the app hasn't been updated in a long time.

That said, there's no reason to panic that the apps you are using will suddenly disappear. If you already have them installed, it will be business as usual for them, including for services and in-app purchases. The affected apps will only be removed from App Store listings and search.

This purge of apps is by no means a small undertaking, even for Apple, who will have to review every single app. It might ruffle the feathers of some users who could be affected, though the effects should be minimal.