A few weeks ago, Apple started warning developers that they would remove apps that haven’t been updated for a long time from the App Store. The Cupertino company is not the only one to do this, Google does the same for obsolete applications on its Play Store.
A report from an analyst firm, Pixalate (via CBS), reveals that 84% of applications that have been downloaded more than 100 million times in stores are those that have received updates in the last six months.
So that begs the question. There are over 5 million apps in total on both storefronts, how many of these apps could be removed? According to the graph, about 28% of apps on Google Play Store and Apple App Store are outdated. The term deprecated here refers to apps that haven’t been updated in the last six months, and those include over a million apps.
1.5 million apps on Google and Apple app stores could be removed
If you think it’s bad, wait until you hear it. The report tells us that there are more than 1.5 million apps on both app stores, which haven’t received an update in the past 2 years. These are classified as discontinued applications, i.e. they are no longer supported by the developer. 31% is not a small number, i.e. almost a third of all app store offers.
Is deleting apps the only solution to this problem? How do they affect app stores anyway? The problem with outdated apps is that they show up on app stores when users search for them, especially if they were popular at some point. But when a user realizes that the app has not been updated for a while, they can choose not to download it. This will result in another search query, possibly for a more up-to-date alternative app. Thus, outdated apps clutter the store and search results with no use. This explains why Google and Apple view outdated apps as a nuisance. There are of course other factors that may have contributed to the decision to remove these apps, as they are no longer under development, they could potentially be vulnerable to security issues or cause other adverse effects.
Google’s guidelines are clear, it will remove apps that haven’t been updated for 2 years. If they are hidden from the Play Store search, new users will not be able to download them. However, apps can still be accessed from the library, whether the app works or not is another story. Apple’s rules regarding outdated apps are slightly tougher. When an app is found to have been downloaded infrequently in the past 12 months and has not been updated recently, the developer is notified that their app will be removed from the App Store. The company will give them a second chance, that is, to submit an update to the latest standards, within 90 days. Failure to meet this deadline will result in removal of the app from the App Store.
Android users have the advantage of being able to download an APK quite easily, so if someone really needed an outdated app, there are other ways to get 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 apps to be installed from third-party sources. .