Not a single one of Google’s iOS apps have been updated in almost a month—an unusually long period for a tech behemoth not to release, at the very least, even a minor bug fix or stability update for one of its dozens of insanely popular iPhone and iPad apps. And after reviewing the latest release dates for all of Google’s iOS apps, one reason for this lack of updates seems more likely than others: It could be related to Apple’s new App Store privacy labels.
The last time any Google iOS app was updated was on December 7. This includes updates to major Google apps like Google Drive, YouTube, Google Docs, Google Sheets, YouTube Music, Google Duo, Google Authenticator, and Gboard.
Why is December 7 a significant date? Because starting on December 8, Apple mandated that any new apps or app updates submitted to the App Store would require the developer to fill out the privacy label information for the app it was submitting. This privacy label reveals exactly what data the app is collecting about the user and how that user data is being used. The label can then be viewed on an app’s App Store listing page. The feature is part of Apple’s push to make developers be more transparent in the ways they collect and use user data, so users can make more informed choices about the apps they choose to download.
Google did not respond to a request for comment about its lack of updates.