For the the first time ever, Apple’s iOS App Store saw its app catalogue shrink. At first blush, it sounds like bad news, but dig a little deeper, it’s actually a very good thing.
According to Appfigures, the App Store dropped in size from 2.2 million apps in late 2017 to 2.1 million early this year, signaling a 5-percent decline. It marks the first time the App Store decreased in size, but there’s a logical explanation for it: it was due to maintenance.
Back in 2016, Apple announced it would soon start removing apps from the App Store in a effort to clean it up. Apps that were outdated, abandoned, clones, spam or just failed to meet the current guidelines were removed. One of the biggest instigators of this purge was iOS 11. With the new software, Apple stopped supporting 32-bit apps.
For comparison, the Google Play Store grew 30-percent in 2017. It now boasts 3.6 million apps.
Early on in the development of the two app stores, the size of available apps was a big deal. Now, however, the focus has shifted to quality. Google Play may hold the title for available apps, but the App Store is still considered to offer higher quality apps in design and functionality.