The App Store’s total number of apps available decreased in 2017 for the first time in the history of the marketplace, according to analytics company Appfigures. iOS apps in the App Store shrank to 2.1 million over the course of 2017, after beginning the year at 2.2 million.
The decline can be attributed in part to Apple’s decision back in 2016 to remove old apps that were no longer compatible with newer iPhones and apps that didn’t comply with recent review guidelines. Apps that were not built on 64-bit architecture were removed.
To add to the graveyard of dead mobile software, Apple also removed virus-scanning apps, apps that were clones of other apps, and other low quality apps that were cluttering up the App Store. Simultaneously, developers also submitted less new iOS apps in 2017 when compared to 2016, the data shows.
Google Play has, in contrast, outpaced Apple’s App Store since 2012, but 2017 marked the biggest gap between the two platforms. Google Play broke 1.5 million in new app releases while Apple teetered at 755,000 apps released in 2017. Appfigures stated that part of that was because many developers released Android versions of their iOS apps, but not vice versa as iOS still remains a preferred debut platform.
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