Google usually pauses updated for its apps in the holiday season every year and resumes it in early January, in order to have no issues during the holiday period as there are not many engineers to fix these problems. This year, however, the pause on Google's iOS apps lasted a bit longer as app updates resumed only earlier this week. There were speculations that Google was not updating its iOS apps in order to avoid Apple's App Store privacy labels that require developers to list their privacy practices and how they handle data.
While there were speculations around Google trying to avoid Apple's privacy labels, that was not the case. Two Google apps - Slides and Socratic - were launched a week after Apple rolled out the labels on December 8. Apart from that Google has said that it will add privacy labels to all its apps and as pointed out by The Verge, 12 Google apps already have the privacy labels without having been updated. On January 27, Google Fiber client was the first app to see an update since mid-December. Play Movies and TV and Google Translate followed on December 28,
Chrome is another example of Google holding its app updates for iOS. The Chrome 88 version was released last week for Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, but is yet to arrive on iOS. Usually, Chrome is updated for iPhone and iPad simultaneously with other platforms and past delays have also lasted a day or two.