Apple's promise to remove unloved apps from the App Store appears to be underway after an estimated 47,300 apps were removed in October.
The company had already pledged to remove apps that were orphaned, outdated, no longer met guidelines, or were in some way borked if they remained as was after 7 September.
App intelligence stat company Sensor Tower confirmed to TechCrunch that app removals jumped by an almighty 238 per cent in October.
This is 3.4 times higher than the average for the rest of the year. The usual monthly purge is nearer 14,000.
The biggest clean up comes from the Games section, which has seen 28 per cent of the removals.
The difficulty lies in the ambiguity of Apple’s terms. The firm talks of "abandonment" as the failure to update “for a long time”, but doesn’t specify how long.
Previous analysis suggested that over half the deleted apps hadn’t been updated since May 2015, and a quarter not since November 2013, so that would have to be an almighty purge, and we suspect that it won’t come to that.
As it is, the Apple App Store continues to grow. Sensor Tower estimated that it could double in size to five million apps by 2020. Apple reckons that 100,000 apps are submitted every week, although this includes updates.
Users in the US were left fuming after it was revealed last month that the Apple App Store was to start including adverts alongside search results.
Google’s Play store, on the other hand, has a much less strict submission process and is only cleaned reactively, although a screening programme was introduced in March 2015.
As a result, the Play store is estimated to have 2.4 million apps and counting, although a great many of them are out of date, or have never been downloaded by anyone other than the author and the odd tester.
As a result, the question of which app store is the biggest is rather subjective.
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