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Google has not released any updates for the vast majority of its apps on Apple’s mobile operating system in months. Presumably, Google disagrees with the App Store’s new privacy terms.

The last updates for most of Google’s apps on iOS were released before 8 December. This is a remarkably long time, especially compared to the multiple updates the company has released for Android in the same time. In some cases, users now receive a warning that their app is out of date. Some Google services display such a message if an app has not been updated for two months. In this case, however, it is not the users’ fault; there simply is no newer version.

New privacy policy

The lack of new updates for iOS probably has everything to do with Apple’s new privacy policy. Since December, Apple has required all apps to disclose the extent to which the apps track user behaviour and whether this data can be linked back to specific users. This policy came into effect on 8 December.

Updates for Android

ArsTechnica adds that there is no hard evidence that the suspension of updates is due to the new privacy policy. Around Christmas, development may have been temporarily halted and Google later indicated in a blog post that it did want to add privacy labels to its apps. A month has now gone by and YouTube has since received an update. However, Gmail, Google Maps, Search, Chrome, Drive, Photos, Keep and Duo are still outdated.

In comparison, Google has released several updates for all these apps this year alone. Now, as the owner of Android, Google also releases more updates for Android, but this period between updates is also exceptionally long for iOS.


Apple is not keeping it to just this change in the App Store. In the coming months, Apple will also require all apps to show a pop-up if they collect personal data for advertising purposes. The user will then be given the choice to agree to this or not. This has led to protests from Google and Facebook, who claim that this removes the opportunity for small businesses to advertise. In the meantime, Facebook has resigned itself to this claim and promises to add the pop-up to its apps soon.

Tip: Why hasn’t Google updated its iOS apps since early December