Earlier this year, Apple and Google fired a warning to developers about apps that have not been updated in a long time. According to several reports, Apple had sent messages to some developers and warned them that the apps would be removed from App Store if they had not been updated for a significant period of time. Now a report from the analytics company Pixalate indicates that almost 30% of the apps on the App Store and Play store risks being removed.
According to the report, 1.5 million apps between Google Play Store and Apple App Store seems to have been “abandoned”. In other words, they have not been updated in over two years. The report further states that “app categories that are most likely to be abandoned: education, reference and games, which are often popular with children.”
The report from Pixalate also found that there are over 314,000 “super abandoned” apps, which means they have not been updated in more than five years. Of these, 58% are in the Apple App Store (184,000 apps) and 42% in the Google Play Store (130,000 apps).
Many developers listened to Apple’s and Google’s warning. The report indicates that 1.3 million apps in Google’s and Apple’s app stores have been updated in the last six months, at the end of the first quarter of 2022.
Apple had said that they will remove the apps from the App Store but users who have downloaded the apps will remain unaffected as they will remain on their devices.
In its app enhancements page, Apple has mentioned that “We are implementing an ongoing process to evaluate apps, remove apps that no longer work as intended, do not follow current review guidelines or are outdated.”
Google also did something similar last month. Google said it is expanding Play Store’s Target Level API requirements. What this means is that new apps and updates must already “focus on one Android API level within a year after the latest version of the Android OS version, or they can not be published.
Why will “abandoned” apps be removed?
There are several reasons why these apps will be removed from the two app stores. With apps that have not been updated, there is always a risk to security. If apps are not updated, they will not receive security patches and will also have bugs that could be problematic. Also, if a developer is seeking revenue from advertisers, the app needs to be updated regularly.
When are the apps expected to be removed?
In its warning message to developers, Apple said they gave them 30 days to update apps, otherwise they will disappear from the App Store. So it is not clear how and when Apple will remove the apps. Google, on the other hand, has clearly stated that “as of November 1, 2022, existing apps that are not targeted at an API level within two years of the latest major Android version will not be available for discovery or installation for new users with devices running Android OS versions higher than the app’s target API level. ”