Google and Apple will soon remove a total of around 1.55 million apps from the Play Store and App Store respectively. These are considered discontinued apps that have not been updated for more than two years. These discontinued apps make up more than a third of the combined catalog of apps available on both app stores, according to a report by an analytics firm pixel (about CNET). 869,000 of these apps can be found in the Google Play Store, while the App Store hosts 650,000.
You may be wondering why Apple and Google would suddenly decide to act. After two years without an update, an app is more vulnerable to hacker attacks. Both Apple and Google have policies on app handling that have been ignored by their developers. In the Play Store, an app that hasn’t been updated for more than two years will be hidden from users and won’t appear in search results.
Apple is also known to remove neglected apps after two years. Despite a seemingly large number of apps considered abandoned, 68% of apps across both stores, or 3.1 million titles, were updated within the two-year timeframe. The app categories most likely to be abandoned include education, reference, and games.

Considering that gaming apps target children and teenagers, it would certainly not be a good sight for Apple and Google to discover that many of them are not updated, leaving them largely vulnerable to hacking.

It turns out that the most updated apps are the most downloaded ones. 84% of apps with over 100 million downloads have been updated at least once in the last six months.

Pixalate also discovered 314,000 “super-abandoned” apps that hadn’t been updated in over five years. Of these neglected apps, 58% or 184,000 were found in the App Store. 42% or 130,000 of these ignored apps were detected in the Google Play Store.

Older apps can’t take advantage of the newer Android and iOS security extensions, which is why both Apple and Google want to remove them from their respective app storefronts. However, smaller independent app developers complain that they often don’t have to do anything after an app’s release. These developers feel unfairly attacked by Apple and Google.

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