Google typically keeps its apps updated rather frequently, whether it be introducing new features, bug fixes, improvements, and more. However, for some reason, it appears that the company has not updated its iOS apps in a month, and it has been speculated that the reason could be due to Apple’s new requirements.
For those unfamiliar, Apple has a new set of rules in which apps need to label the kind of permissions it requires from users, as well as disclose the information that they take from users if they use the app. This is part of Apple’s efforts at protecting the privacy of its users by forcing apps and developers to be more transparent about their data-gathering practices.
This has led to speculation that the reason Google hasn’t updated their apps in a while is because of these new requirements. Apple said that existing apps don’t need to apply the new privacy labels unless an update for them is submitted, so it seems that Google could be taking advantage of that “loophole”.
One could argue that Google might not have any updates to submit, which is why they haven’t updated their apps. However, as FastCompany notes, Google has updated its own apps on Android several times throughout December, while the last iOS update for tier apps came on the 8th of December and nothing since. We’ve already seen how damning these privacy labels can be as it reveals a shocking amount of information about an app and its data-gathering practices, so perhaps Google is trying to avoid similar scrutiny.
We’re not sure how the company plans to work around this as there seems to be no other way, but in the meantime, it looks like iOS users are the ones who have to pay the price for the lack of updates.