When Apple promised to have a tidy up of the App Store to remove some of the junk that makes it through the filter, no one expected that number to top 47,000 in a month.
Apps that were abandoned, no longer updated, or didn’t meet the guidelines that had been refined over the years were removed following an audit on the 7th September. App intelligence stat company Sensor Tower confirmed to TechCrunch that app removals continued into October and rose by 238 per cent over September. With a usual purge amount of around 14,000 apps per month, that number is 3.4 times the amount for the average for the rest of the year.
It was the Games category that saw the biggest purge, with around 28 percent of the overall removals coming from that category. Entertainment and Books were practically tied for second place at 8.99 percent and 8.96 percent, respectively. Education and Lifestyle were even further behind at 7 percent and 6 percent.
Analysis suggests that over half of the deleted apps in total hadn’t been updated since May 2015, and a quarter since November 2013. Apple specifies in its terms that abandonment of the app is dictated by not updating the app for a long time but doesn’t clarify what that length of time is. Perhaps that’s on purpose to provide Apple room to make calls on a per app basis, although any app that hasn’t been updated for 3 years probably isn’t worth downloading anyway.
Sensor Tower estimated that the App Store could double in size to five million apps by 2020. Apple estimates that 100,000 apps are submitted every week, although this does include updates, but just shows how important it is to remove the outdated apps with such vast numbers being added weekly.