1.5 million apps on Google and Apple's app stores may be removed for not being updated in 2 years

May 16, 2022

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 The Cupertino company is not alone in doing this, Google does the same for outdated apps on its Play Store.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 According to the chart, around 28% of apps on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store are outdated. The term outdated here refers to apps that have not been updated in the last six months, and these number over 1 Million apps.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 The problem with outdated apps is they show up on the app stores when users search for them, especially if they were popular at one time.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 So the outdated apps clutter the store, and the search results without serving any purpose. This explains why both Google and Apple view outdated apps as a nuisance.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.

Google and Apple may remove 1.5 million outdated apps from their app stores
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Google and Apple may remove 1.5 million outdated apps from their app stores
1.5 million apps on Google and Apple's app stores have not been updated in 2 years. The outdated apps could be removed permanently.
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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments (https://www.ghacks.net/chatgpt-gets-schooled-by-princeton-university/#comments). Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If ghacks.net intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this Friend.tech as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/08/23/what-is-friend-tech/] and it appears there but as well here at [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/07/08/how-to-follow-everyone-on-threads/]

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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