Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has sent emails to its iOS app developers regarding an upcoming changes to occur in its App Store and a few new rules to keep the App Store clutter free and to focus more on quality than quantity.
In its email to Apple developers, the company informed that soon there will be a removal process of abandoned, “spammy” and non-updated iOS apps on its App Store. Email also pointed that to keep the app search clutter free, every app should have a name within 50 characters limit.
So far, Apple was proud of having millions of apps and billions of downloads in its App Store, and it announced the numbers at almost every major Apple event. Now, the company is following Google Inc’s way of keeping the platform clean and spam-free. Earlier, Google search engine was filled by spammy websites with blackhat SEO techniques such as adding more keywords in article titles, getting top position in the search index for a certain keyword by using keyword stuffing tricks, etc..
In June 2016, Apple announced that App Store has over 2 million apps and it has seen over 130 billion downloads. Point to note here is, most of those millions of apps are either not working, or not even downloaded on devices.
If you are a regular searcher in App Store, you might have noticed that when you search a keyword, for example, “Instagram”, you would find many apps listed in the search index like this – “[App Name] Photo Grid, Collage Maker, Photo Editor, Pic…” and then the name cut off. Apple doesn’t like this, and want to tackle such keyword stuffing tricks by imposing “the 50 characters limit” rule. Apple wants clean names for all apps to keep the search results relevant again.
And, regarding the removal of non-active and abandoned apps, if the company technically implements the strict rule and start removing such apps (September 7 onwards), then we would see a drastic fall in the numbers that Apple would announce an its next event. We don’t think the removal process will be completed by this month-end, especially, not before the new iPhone launch event to be held in this month. Hence, you wouldn’t get the actual App Store numbers anytime soon.
However, Apple has given developers a 30 day grace period to update their apps to keep it in the App Store. Apple also wants developers to submit/update the apps that should follow new App Store Review Guidelines. One more thing, if any outdated app is currently running on any iPhone or iPad, then the removal of the app from the App Store won’t affect the running of the application. If you are an Apple iOS app developer, then you should check this FAQ section.