One-Third of Apple and Google Apps Are So Outdated They Could Get Removed

A new report says 1.5 million apps on Google and Apple's app stores haven't been updated in two years and could face repercussions.

David Lumb Mobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
Expertise smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, telecom industry, mobile semiconductors, mobile gaming
David Lumb
A bar graph showing how many apps have been updated in the last six months (28%, or around 1.3 million) and how many haven't been updated in two years or longer (33%, or just over 1.5 million)

Analyst firm Pixalate's report says that 28% of apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store have been updated in the last six months, while "abandoned apps" neglected for two years or more include a third of the apps on both stores.


A new report finds that 1.5 million apps on both Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store haven't been updated in two years or longer and get hidden or removed entirely according to recent policy changes.

These "abandoned" apps constitute one-third of the combined app catalogs of the App Store and Play Store, according to the report from analyst firm Pixalate. Google's store had around 869,000 apps that had been neglected for more than two years, while Apple's store had around 650,000. After two years without an update, apps are more vulnerable to exploits, which is why Apple and Google have introduced new policies in recent months that punish apps neglected by their developers.

If an app hasn't been updated in two years, it will be hidden from view on the Google Play Store and won't appear in search results. Apple's policy for outdated apps is far less clear, though at least one developer said their app would be removed because it was more than two years old. 

Plenty of apps are more up to date, per the report, with 68% of apps on both stores, or over 3.1 million apps, updated within the last two years. Apps that updated more frequently tended to be those with far more downloads: 84% of the apps with over 100 million downloads had been updated in the last six months. 

Neither Apple nor Google responded to comment by time of publication.