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Recent data shows that Android apps have been abandoned without updating to a greater extent than iOS or iPad apps, and that lack of attention can put users at risk. Here’s how the numbers compare.
Pixalate’s analysis defines abandonment as an app that hasn’t been updated for at least two years. There are different levels of neglect, and the company examines apps in countries that rank in the top 12 based on the total number of apps downloadable from each app market.
Developers abandoned over 1.6 million apps between April 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022. The report shows a 29% drop in abandoned apps still available in Apple’s App Store, while orphan apps in Google’s Play Store increased by 16%.
Overall, apps registered in China and Russia were the most abandoned at 42%. Apps for kids were 37% abandoned, leaving 75,000 on the App Store and 81,000 on the Google Play Store.
The report also claims that about 14,000 of those abandoned apps had sent geolocation data to advertisers.
In the last six months, more developers have abandoned apps on Google Play than updated them. Over 32% were abandoned, compared to around 30% of apps that received updates over the same period.
The report also mentions “super abandoned apps” that haven’t been updated in the App Store or Google Play Store for over five years, with a total of 306,000 and counting. Apps that haven’t been updated in over three years include over 840,000 apps.
These results are similar to research from May 2022, in which Pixalate found that 650,000 App Store apps had not been updated in over two years, and 869,000 Google Play Store apps.
Apple issued a warning to developers in April 2022, saying it would remove apps from the App Store if they hadn’t received an update within a “significant” amount of time. Several thousand were deleted, and some developers complained that the app shouldn’t have been affected as it was stable and still running in iOS 15.
Removal from the Apple App Store does not affect apps that have already been downloaded to devices, unless server-side assets are no longer available. The obligation to update only applies to the data hosted by the App Store and the entry itself.