Apple removed nearly 50,000 apps from App Store in October

By , Nov 15, 2016

app-store-purge-october-2016 sensor tower

The Great App Store Purge, announced in September, has resulted in the removal of nearly 47,300 outdated, abandoned or non-functioning iPhone, iPad and iPod touch apps from the App Store in October.

That’s a 238 percent increase versus the previous month and about 3.4 times more than the average month for the App Store prior to the Great Purge, according to data from research firm Sensor Tower shared by TechCrunch.

Curiously, mobile games are seeing the most deletions—around 28 percent of the 47,300 total apps removed last month were games. This doesn’t come as a shock given “Games” is the most popular and most-trafficked software category on the App Store.

Entertainment, Books, Education and Lifestyle were the most-deleted apps after the Games category. Specifically, Entertainment and Books comprised 8.99 percent and 8.96 percent of total deletions in November, respectively. Education and Lifestyle were further behind at seven percent and six percent.

Although Apple has been removing non-functioning apps and apps that don’t meet its guidelines since the App Store’s inception, this new removal of nearly 50,000 apps in October is around 3.4 times higher than the monthly average of 14,000 for the months of January through September.

“The figure indicates that Apple is making good on its intention to remove the cruft from its App Store,” writes TechCrunch. Prior analysis has shown that nearly half of the apps hadn’t been updated since May 2015. More than one in four apps on the App Store, or approximately 25.6 percent, hadn’t been updated since November 2013.

Infrequently updated apps are often stuck in the past and don’t support modern features. Typically, these zombie apps (as we’re calling them) don’t support native display resolutions on larger-screened iPhones, are not optimized for Low Power Mode, Touch ID and 3D Touch or lack support for other platform features Apple introduces with each major iteration of the iOS operating system.

The App Store’s virtual shelves carry more than two million items, with Apple seeing about 100,000 new and updated apps submitted each week.

As we reported earlier, Apple began purging outdated apps form the App Store at the end of September, sending notices to developers of apps that have not been updated in a long time or no longer function as advertised.

If an update is submitted for review within 30 days and Apple approves it, the app stays in the store. If a new build is not submitted within 30 days, or is rejected by Apple’s editorial team for whatever reason, the app gets yanked from the store.

Users who downloaded an app before its removal shall experience no interruption to services and will still be able to buy In-App Purchases, according to Apple. Any previously downloaded apps that got removed from the store can also be restored from a user’s iCloud or iTunes backup.

Source: Sensor Tower via TechCrunch

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  • nonchalont

    This is a good thing. Keeps the store up to date.

  • Diego Milano

    What if you had a very very old device and wanted to still use one of these apps? How are these defined as “non-functioning”?

    • White Michael Jackson

      “Users who downloaded an app before its removal shall experience no interruption to services and will still be able to buy In-App Purchases, according to Apple. Any previously downloaded apps that got removed from the store can also be restored from a user’s iCloud or iTunes backup.”

      • thunderqus

        How is it restored from iCloud? does iCloud backup IPA file? I know itunes does , I have iPhone4 and I am not able to download some games that I had earlier, from Purchase history, screen goes blank when I try to view the app, although I have to test what happens if I Click download button directly from history page.

      • Dilir Daiyan Aranna

        Those apps have been completely removed by the Developer.
        But devs who have not abandoned the apps,are still downloadable from the Purchase history

      • Diego Milano

        Cool, thanks for this. I’d have to try this to confirm. 😛

  • Adan

    Hundreds of thousands left to purge. I hope every single app that’s been abandoned is removed. There are some that haven’t been touched in 6 years! Which obviously means no retina, no widescreen… these developers are bunch of shameless lazy people.

    • jOn Garrett

      lol, number of apps used to be something to brag about.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        That era is now dead. This is a new era to brag about the least amount of apps!

      • jOn Garrett

        So then Microsoft was right all along, quality over quantity.

      • Dilir Daiyan Aranna

        lol that was apple

  • Bugs Bunnay

    Good riddance. Finding apps should be easier now!