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More than 30% of apps in the App Store and Google Play are abandoned

There are millions of apps and games on the App Store and Google Play, but how many are actively developed and maintained? Knowing these numbers can be the key to finding development opportunities.

AppFigures grouped all the apps and games available for download on the App Store and Google Play by the time they were last updated. Percentages instead of absolute numbers are used because stores vary widely in the number of apps available (according to Pixalate’s report it’s 1.3 million on Google Play and 496,000 on the App Store – Apple simply removes apps that haven’t been updated in the last 3 years and don’t meet minimum download threshold).

Looking at these groups, it’s clear that the majority of apps, 34% on average across the two stores, haven’t been updated in over two years. Apple calls such applications abandoned (abandoned).

The same is true when considering each store individually.

In the App Store, 30% of apps and games haven’t been updated in over 2 years, and on Google Play, that figure reaches a whopping 37%.

Looking at the breakdown by category of abandoned apps (excluding games), Education, Utilities, and Business win in both stores. Education can be tricky to develop, but Utilities and Business are definitely easier.

At the same time, popular from the “abandoned” ones still receive many new downloads and ratings, that is, they are still used today. There are many games on the list, as well as apps from major developers including Apple, Instagram, and even USPS that haven’t updated their app since 2021.

If you are a developer, here is how you can use this feature. All you have to do is find an abandoned app that is still popular, understand what relevant keywords it ranks for, and create a better version by taking all the feature suggestions and complaints from the reviews and taking them into account.

Overall, these numbers are not surprising as development is getting easier thanks to improvements in Swift and Kotlin that make native development easier, and non-native frameworks like React Native and Flutter. It is clear that maintaining, developing and making money on a product is much more difficult than releasing the first version, which means that more and more applications will be abandoned.

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