Apple is about to start cleaning the App Store’s house by removing outdated and abandoned apps. The change should make it easier to find the apps you’re looking for, improve discoverability, and cut down on apps that aren’t compatible with current iOS versions. Developers trying to manipulate search results with long app names are in for a surprise, too.
Apple notified Mac and iOS developers of the chance in an email saying,
There are also apps on the App Store that no longer function as intended or follow current review guidelines, and others which have not been supported with compatibility updates for a long time. We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps for these issues, notifying their developers, and removing problematic and abandoned apps from the App Store.
Apple isn’t planning on going Anakin-in-the-Jedi-temple on apps and instead will give developers a 30 day notice before removing their apps from store listings. Developers can use that time to address the issues targeting their apps for removal, and customers who already bought removed apps will still be able to download them.
Developers who try to game the system with extremely long app names need to find a new tactic. “In hopes of influencing search results, some developers have used extremely long app names which include descriptions and terms not directly related to their app,” Apple said. “These long names are not fully displayed on the App Store and provide no user value.”
New apps and app updates are now limited to 50 character titles, which should cut down on developers loading up key search terms in their app names.
The changes come as good news for users and developers. For users, it means it will get easier to find the apps they really want. For developers, it means they won’t have to deal with as many copycat and unrelated apps showing up when potential customers perform searches.
That equates to better discoverability—something the App Store has needed for a long time.