Thanks to annual hardware updates, customers can expect new models of iPhones to go on sale each year that typically offer significant upgrades to everything from the camera and storage space to screen resolution or functionality. Apple also makes minor changes even between the release of each new device, especially as regular software updates that offer protection against security threats or provide new features.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the iPhone has revolutionised technology in the 15 years since its introduction. Handheld devices ushered in a new era in which we can take photos, pay for groceries, and order dinner from the same type of device that was previously limited to making phone calls. However, as with any piece of technology, Apple is still fine-tuning how its most popular product works, including a recent announcement that it may remove one feature that is available on all iPhones and iPads. Continue reading to find out what might be disappearing from your device in the coming weeks.
But every so often, the tech giant has also stepped in to change certain things about how the devices work or what’s available to customers. For example, in March of last year, Apple made a major push toward privacy protection when it announced that it would require apps that gather your personal data from use across devices to ask for permission with a prompt. And on March 1 of this year, the company said that it would be banning apps for Russian-state-controlled media outlets Russia Today (RT News) and Sputnik from its app store in every country except Russia after its invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
Others pointed out contradictions in Apple’s guidelines. In an April 23 tweet, developer Kosta Eleftheriou said the company had removed an app he had developed for the visually impaired because he hadn’t updated it in two years—even though the once-popular game Pocket God was still available despite not having released an update in seven years, The Verge reports.
The tech giant also clarified which specific apps were at risk of being dropped due to its policies. “Developers of apps that have not been updated within the last three years and fail to meet a minimal download threshold—meaning the app has not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period—receive an email notifying them that their app has been identified for possible removal from the App Store,” the company wrote. “I feel sick. Apple just sent me an email saying they’re removing my free game Motivoto because it’s more than [two] years old,” Robert Kabwe, a developer with Protopop Games, said in a tweet on April 22. “This is not cool. Console games from 2000 are still available for sale. This is an unfair barrier to indie devs.”