What you need to know
- The Google Play Store looks set to crack down on nearly 900,000 neglected apps as part of a recent policy change.
- Android apps that haven't received an update in two years will be axed from the Play Store.
- Apple is also taking similar measures to deal with abandoned apps on the App Store.
The days of outdated apps on the Google Play Store are coming to an end as Google looks to remove apps that have not been updated in two years.
This potential consequence is the result of Google Play's recent policy change (opens in new tab) aimed at ridding the app marketplace of abandoned apps or those that haven't received a single update in two years. According to CNET (opens in new tab), which cites a report from analyst firm Pixalate, this amounts to around 869,000 apps in the case of the Play Store.
Android Central could not immediately reach Google for comment.
Apple unveiled similar measures in April, warning developers that it would remove apps that haven’t been "updated in a significant amount of time" from the App Store (via The Verge (opens in new tab)). Developers were given 30 days to update their apps for compliance.
There are approximately 650,000 outdated apps on the App Store. When combined, those numbers account for a third of the total number of apps available on both platforms.
Affected apps will either be hidden from search results or entirely removed. But this won't happen until November 1, when Android 13 (opens in new tab) is expected to be available on Google's Pixel phones. The reason behind these measures is to "protect users from installing apps that may not have the latest privacy and security features," Google explained last month.
It makes sense given that outdated apps miss out on newer changes in Android and iOS that beef up security, among other improvements. This makes older apps more susceptible to security flaws.
Fortunately, the search giant noted that "the vast majority of apps on Google Play already abide by these standards." According to Pixalate's report, 68% of apps on both the Play Store and App Store have been updated in the last two years. That's equivalent to more than 3.1 million apps.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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