Millions of apps are available on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Naturally, not all of them are of the highest quality, with a few simply terrible or severely outdated. You might wonder why these types of apps are still available.
Apple and Google are finally trying to do something about obsolete or abandoned apps. When applications remain on the app stores without constant checks and balances, it clogs up the ecosystem.
Read on how to see the tech giants are solving this problem and how it can affect you.
Here’s the backstory
Earlier this year, Apple took a look at available applications in the App Store to determine the level of abandonment. As a result, several developers received an email stating that their creations have “not been updated in a significant amount of time.” The email explains that Apple will remove the app “from sale in 30 days.”
Apple’s App Store Improvement Notice is similar to Google’s focus on removing abandoned apps from the Play Store. Over the past few years, Apple removed over 2.8 million applications.
That number will drastically increase in the coming months. Many speculate that it could be removing as many as 1.5 million additional apps.
According to the notice, the criteria for removal are:
- Not updated in a significant amount of time.
- Not been updated within the last three years.
- Fail to meet a minimal download threshold during a rolling 12-month period.
Developers had 30 days to appeal the notice, but Apple agreed to extend it to 90 days. After that, developers will need to show that they made the necessary changes and that the app functions as expected.
What you can do about it
Apple explains that an app “will remain fully functional for current users” after removal. It is unclear if this is the case for Google.
Since the official app stores are being cleaned up, it’s an excellent time to go through your devices and clean them up. Here are some suggestions:
- Go through your mobile apps and remove any that you don’t use or haven’t updated in some time.
- To future-proof your phone, before downloading a new app, read the reviews and comments to see if other users complain about it. If others say it’s a scam, stay away.
Here’s how to remove Android apps:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- At the top right, tap the Profile icon.
- Tap Manage apps & devices > Manage.
- Tap the name of the app you want to delete.
- Tap Uninstall.
To remove an Apple app, the process to follow is:
- Touch and hold the app you want to delete, then tap Remove App > Delete App > Delete.