The two members of our favorite mobile duopoly, Google and Apple, recently announced plans to eliminate outdated apps from their respective app stores. Last month, the two companies decided that any app that hadn’t been updated for two years would be taken down. In early April, Google announced a two-year shutdown plan that would take effect in November, and later that month Apple began emailing developers, giving them 30 days notice to update. or be deleted. It’s hard to know what two-year-old slaughter apps will look like, so how many apps are we talking about exactly?
The has data from analytics firm Pixalate, which says the two-year limit would remove 869,000 apps from Google Play and around 650,000 from the App Store. That’s about a third of each store’s current total app selection. These numbers would take Google Play from 2.6 million apps to 1.7 million apps and the App Store from 1.95 million apps to 1.3 million.
This number from Google is an estimate since Google has officially stated that the cut-off point is two years. Apple has not publicly specified a cutoff point. The company only emailed developers personally, saying it was removing apps that have “not been updated for a significant amount of time,” but some Developers set that date at two years.
Both app store owners have a strong argument for doing so: older apps are lower quality and more prone to exploits. A lot Developers let’s say that such an approach will lead to collateral damage. Not all two-year-old apps are broken. Not every app in the world is a live service that will be updated forever, and a template like this doesn’t work for a free project. Android users will still have sideloading and alternate app stores, but Apple users will lose access to purged apps.