An analysis of developer-abandoned mobile apps across Google and Apple app stores shows that 33% of all apps were updated two or more years ago, according to data released Friday.
Pixalate determines the length of abandonment based on the date the app was last updated. The company considers an app to have a heightened risk of “abandonment” if it has not been updated in at least two years as of the end of Q1 2022.
The report also provides data showing different levels of apparent abandonment in six-month increments, up to apps that have not been updated in over five years. The data came from crawling the respective app stores and one of Pixalate’s third party licensors.
Abandoned apps may cause serious safety and security concerns. The most innovative apps regularly release new improved versions with bug fixes and security patches. With the growing awareness of consumer privacy concerns, this issue becomes even more important, and advertisers need to take notice of how frequently apps are updated before deciding to invest in using one.
Some 11%, or more than 500,000 apps were updated four or more years ago, according to Pixalate’s data.
There’s a link between updated and downloads. About 84% of apps with 100 million downloads were updated in the last six months, according to Pixalate’s data.
App categories most likely to be abandoned include education, reference, and games, which are often popular with children.
About 38% of the apps in the categories of reference, games, and education have not been updated in two or more years. The categories most likely updated regularly updated include finance, health, and shopping.
The analysis also shows that in the Apple Store about 58% of all apps were last updated five or more years ago. About 184,000 were found in the Apple App store compared with 130,000 in the Google App store.
Some 650,000 of iOS apps and 869,000 Google apps have not been updated in two or more years. About 153,252 iOS App Store apps have not been updated in three to four years, and 184,363 have not been updated in five or more years. About 181,619 Google Play Store apps have not been updated in three to four years, and 130,454 have not been updated in five or more years.