You might be wondering why Apple and Google would suddenly decide to take action. After two years without receiving an update, an app is more prone to hacking. Both Apple and Google have policies in place to deal with apps that have been ignored by their developers. In the Play Store, an app that has not been updated for more than two years will be hidden from users and not shown in search results.
Apple is also known to remove neglected apps after two years. Despite what appears to be a large number of apps that are considered abandoned, 68% of apps in both stores, or 3.1 million titles, have been updated within two years. The app categories most likely to be abandoned are Education, Reference, and Games.
Since kids and teens are the target users of gaming apps, it certainly wouldn’t be good for Apple and Google if it were discovered that many of them have not been updated, leaving them wide open to being hacked.
Over 1.5 million iOS and Android apps have been abandoned
It turns out that the most updated apps are the ones that have been downloaded the most. 84% of apps with more than 100 million downloads have been updated at least once in the past six months.
Pixalate also discovered 314,000 “Super-Abandoned” apps that haven’t been updated in over five years. Of those neglected apps, 58% or 184,000 were found in the App Store. 42% or 130,000 of these ignored apps were discovered in the Google Play Store.
Older apps can’t take advantage of newer security additions to Android and iOS, 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 releasing an app. These developers feel that they are being unfairly targeted by Apple and Google.