If you are a user of Apple products, like the iPhone or iPad, there’s a good chance you’re pretty familiar with the app store. Apple’s app store is their distribution platform for apps that can be used on the iOS. Apple users can access the App Store on all of their mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, and people can also visit the app store on the internet from any computer. Today, Apple has the second largest app store (second to the Android), with more than 2 million apps in it. However, Apple recently announced they were going to clean out their store and do a purge to get rid of old, broken or ineffective apps. If you’re an app developer who has an app in the app store and are wondering if your app is safe, check out the below information to learn more about what the purge will entail.
On September 7, 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook released information about their newest smartphone, the iPhone 7. He also described how Apple will soon be doing a thorough review of the app store in order to delete apps that don’t work. Cook explained that the purge will focus on apps that “no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines or are outdated.”
App Store Statistics
One reason behind the upcoming app store purge is that the store is filled with what the company calls “zombie apps.” These apps, also called invisible apps, are ones that can only be found if a user searches for them directly, by name. These apps take up about 90 percent of the store’s inventory, and they are rarely downloaded or used. There are only about 250,000 visible apps in the store that are commonly downloaded. Also, a recent study of the app store revealed that more than 50 percent of all apps had been abandoned by developers since May 2015, that 25.6 percent of all app store apps had not been updated since November 2013, and that only 20 percent of all apps had been updated in the last 3 months. (That’s a whole lot of unused apps!)
What This Means for App Developers
If you have an app in the app store that you update and promote, you don’t have to worry about your app being removed. Apple will only focus on removing apps that weren’t updated to work with new devices, ones that crash upon launch and ones that have not been updated in several years. The company will give app developers the chance to save apps that don’t function well. Prior to the purge, they will also send out a notification and offer 30 days to get the app up to snuff.
More App Store Changes
In addition to the removal of old and broken apps, Apple is going to make another change to the app store: they will begin limiting app names to 50 characters. This will stop app developers from keyword stuffing, ultimately making for better and fairer app store SEO. This change comes after a slew of changes that happened when Phil Schiller took over the app store in December 2015, including a new auto-renewable subscription system and app ads at the top of app store search results.
For Apple device users, the app store is a convenient place to get fun and useful features that can be added to your phone or tablet. Apple’s upcoming purge and improvements of the app store will make using it even easier and more convenient for consumers, and also easier for developers who want to promote their products, too.