A new report finds that 1.5 million apps on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store haven’t been updated in two years or longer and get hidden or removed entirely according to recent policy changes.
These “abandoned” apps constitute one-third of the combined app catalogs of the App Store and Play Store, according to the report from analyst firm Pixalate. Google’s store had around 869,000 apps that had been neglected for more than two years, while Apple’s store had around 650,000. After two years without an update, apps are more vulnerable to exploits, which is why Apple and Google have introduced new policies in recent months that punish apps neglected by their developers.
If an app hasn’t been updated in two years, it will be hidden from view on the Google Play Store and won’t appear in search results. Apple’s policy for outdated apps is far less clear, though at least one developer said their app would be removed because it was more than two years old.
Plenty of apps are more up to date, per the report, with 68% of apps on both stores, or over 3.1 million apps, updated within the last two years. Apps that updated more frequently tended to be those with far more downloads: 84% of the apps with over 100 million downloads had been updated in the last six months.
Neither Apple nor Google responded to comment by time of publication.