1.5 million apps on Google and Apple's app stores may be removed for not being updated in 2 years
A few weeks ago, Apple began warning developers that they would be removing apps that haven't been updated in a long time, from the App Store. The Cupertino company is not alone in doing this, Google does the same for outdated apps on its Play Store.
A report by an analyst firm, Pixalate (via CNET), reveals that 84% of the apps which were downloaded over 100 million times from the stores, were those that had received updates in the past six months.
So, this raises the question. There are over 5 million apps in total on both storefronts, just how many of these apps could be removed? According to the chart, around 28% of apps on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store are outdated. The term outdated here refers to apps that have not been updated in the last six months, and these number over 1 Million apps.
1.5 million apps on Google and Apple's app stores maybe removed
If you think that is bad, wait till you hear this. The report tells us that there are over 1.5 Million apps on the two app stores, that have not received an update in the past 2 years. These are classified as abandoned apps, i.e, no longer supported by the developer. 31% is no small number, that is nearly one-third of the entire app stores' offerings.
Is removing the apps the only solution to this problem? How do they affect the app stores anyway? The problem with outdated apps is they show up on the app stores when users search for them, especially if they were popular at one time. But when a user comes to realize that the app has not been updated in a while, they may choose not to download it. This will result in another search query, possibly for a more up-to-date alternative app. So the outdated apps clutter the store, and the search results without serving any purpose. This explains why both Google and Apple view outdated apps as a nuisance. There are of course other factors that may have contributed to the decision to remove such apps, since they are no longer being worked upon, they could potentially be vulnerable to security issues, or cause other adverse effects.
Google's guidelines are clear, it will delist apps that have not been updated over 2 years. If they are hidden from the Play Store's search, new users won't be able to download them. However, the apps may still be accessible from the Library, whether the app would work or not is a different story. Apple's rules concerning outdated apps are slightly harsher. When an app is found to have few downloads in the past 12 months, and hasn't been updated recently, the developer will be warned that their app will be delisted from the App Store. The company will give them a second chance, i.e., to submit an update adhering to the latest standards, within 90 days. Failure to comply with this deadline, will result in the app's removal from the app store.
Android users have an advantage in that they can sideload an APK quite easily, so if someone really needed an outdated app, there are other ways to obtain it. Apple users don't have that freedom, but things could change when the European Union enforces the Digital Markets Act (DMA) next year, to allow installation of apps from third-party sources.Advertisement