“It’s no secret that there is a large amount of software on the iOS App Store that has been abandoned. Even some well-regarded titles, like GoodReader, have lain fallow for a while in a half-functional state after some Apple update or other made it unstable,” Mike Wuerthele writes for MacNN. “Games are generally the first to break on newer OSes, but will churn along fine on older hardware and software combinations. Recently, however, users are discovering that when a company retracts a piece of software from sale for whatever the reason, it is utterly removed from both the store and users’ purchase histories — making it impossible to re-download and re-acquire if not backed up on a computer.”
“This is a very, very bad thing,” Wuerthele writes. “A spokesperson for Apple confirmed to enthusiast site PocketGamer that ‘if [developers] remove their apps from the store, they cannot be re-downloaded until the app has been resubmitted to the App Store.'”
“We believe that the utter eradication of buggy titles under modern operating systems from the App Store is overly authoritarian, and completely unnecessary. Users can protect themselves by backing up their purchases diligently, but the whole point of Apple’s re-download policy is that buyers always have a ‘cloud’ backup that can be re-installed on demand — only that turns out not to be fully true,” Wuerthele writes. “Eliminating software from the iOS App Store because the developer pulled it for incompatibilities with newer devices or the current version of iOS doesn’t help anybody but the newest customers, and is a very self-interested move by Apple. So far, the same behavior doesn’t appear to extend to the Mac App Store — but we’re concerned that its just a matter of time until it does.”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As always, back up everything. As Wuerthele suggests, Apple should add a new field for “acceptable OS version” to Xcode. That way users won’t be frustrated with software that doesn’t work on their device, but users with compatible devices will still be able to access and download older software.