Google restarts updates for iOS apps after adding privacy labels

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Over the weekend, Google started updating many of its flagship iOS apps after a long delay that was caused by its failure to add the privacy labels required by Apple. Earlier this year, Google said that it would begin adding the labels to the apps as they were updated.

However, they were yet to do so for apps like Search, Assistant, Chrome, Photos, Pay, Maps, and more.

Apple’s policy says that developers cannot issue any more updates unless the privacy labels are added.

Bending the knee to Apple

With policies like that in place, Google could not update many of its top apps for longer than usual, especially given the resources it has. Minor updates like bug fixing and performance enhancement should not be a problem.

Gmail went without an update for three months, before it was released this weekend. According to the iOS App Store listings, Slides, Calendar, Docs, and Sheets all got updates during the weekend.

Over the past couple of weeks, updates for apps with new labels have also been ongoing, including Google Tasks, Google Podcasts, YouTube TV, YouTube Music, and YouTube.

Google’s weird hesitations

Google has not said anything about why it is taking so long to apply the updates and attributed the delay to the annual holiday code freeze, where many of the company’s apps updates are paused so people can take some time off.

When the weeks turned into months and it became clear that Google was approaching the label application cautiously and methodically, the scrutiny intensified. Every time an app got an update, it made tech news headlines.

So far, Google is yet to respond to this whole issue or offer further comments regarding its approach.