The iOS and Android app stores are littered with abandoned apps

App Store
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

There are currently more outdated apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store than ones that are frequently updated according to a new study.

The study from the analytics firm Pixalate, titled The Abandoned Mobile Apps Report, shows that Apple’s recent announcement that it will soon begin deleting apps that haven’t been updated in quite a while makes a great deal of sense despite the fact that it wasn’t well received by developers.

To compile its report, Pixalate crawled through both the App Store and Play Store looking for what it has deemed abandoned apps or those that have gone two or more years without being updated. The analytics firm found over 1.5m abandoned apps among the more than five million apps it examined.

While both mobile app stores are filled with abandoned apps, Pixalate only found 1.3m recently updated apps that had been updated in the past six months.

Removing outdated apps

Although outdated apps pose a significant security risk to end users, there’s no need to worry as both Apple and Google have plans to take action on the issue.

For instance, Apple recently updated its App Store policy to classify apps that have gone three years without updates as abandoned. The iPhone maker has said that it will begin removing them along with apps that have failed to reach a certain number of downloads over the past year.

Once Apple flags an app as outdated, its developers will have 90 days to make changes to the app in question before it’s removed from the App Store. However, outdated apps will only be removed from the company’s store and not from users’ devices.

Meanwhile, Google announced back in April that it would begin removing outdated Android apps at the end of this year. Unlike Apple though, the search giant will hide app pages and block installations on Android smartphones running a version of the mobile operating system that is higher or outside two years of the app’s target API level.

If you’re an app developer that hasn’t updated your apps in a while, now would be the time to do so before they’re removed from the App Store or Play Store.

Via The Register

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.