For the first time, the number of apps in the Apple App Store declined this year

For the first time, the number of apps in the Apple App Store declined this year
The App Store's total number of apps declined for the first time this year as Apple stepped up its effort to remove old apps that did not comply with newer iPhones and apps that did not meet the company's recent review guidelines. Additionally, apps that do not support 64-bit architecture that is now ubiquitous across iPhones, were also removed.

This brought the total number of apps on the App Store to 2.1 million, down from 2.2 million in 2016.

In comparison, the Google Play Store with Android apps now has a catalog of some 3.5 million applications.


Still, it might be a good thing that we are no longer involved in an app numbers race. The whole idea behind Apple's app purge is to leave only good quality apps. Apple also removed virus-scanning apps from the App Store, as well as apps that were clones of others, and other low quality apps.

source: AppFigures

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35 Comments

1. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

That's good, quality over quantity, that's something Android ecosystem has yet to achieve

3. Tech-shake

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

google should do the same as apple did with iOS 11 imo. Any app that doesn't support 64 bit or android APIs from at least two years should be purged.

9. caqde

Posts: 14; Member since: Dec 16, 2017

Well on that front they do seem to be taking some steps although not as far as you would like but I guess at least it is a step in the right direction, but none of this will take place until late this year (Aug (New apps)/Nov (Current apps)) I'd post a link to the blog post from Google's site but I can't atm. (need to post more). But just look up a Dec 19th 2017 android developer blog post titled "Improving app security and performance on Google Play for years to come"

11. Tech-shake

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

Thanks for points me to the article, just read it and it is awesome that google is actually tryin to do something. Thank you once again

16. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

iOS >>>> Android = Golden quality Apps Android >>>>> iOS = Crappy crap crap crap... It's a good thing Apple cleaning their App store.

13. tokuzumi

Posts: 1961; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

If you do that, you are removing ~70% of the Android user base. Only around 30% of all Android users are on either Nougat or Oreo.

14. Tech-shake

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

Supporting the most recent API’s doesn’t mean the app won’t run on older versions of android. If you support the most recent API it just means your app will run better on newer phones, and sometimes even old phones.

4. sgodsell

Posts: 7570; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Such a wiener. Apple and others stated back in 2016 that they were going to have 5 million apps by 2020. That's definitely not going to happen. So Apple is now taking a different approach. Especially when Android is going to get their before Apple. Apple's control and restrictions has hurt them in the long run. Look Apple always went with low resolution displays all the time with their iPhones, and it's the reason why Apple doesn't support VR or AR headsets. It's only recently that the iPhone X has a high enough resolution for VR, but the notch killed it for VR or AR headsets. Speaking of notches, Apple is now rejecting developers apps if they do not include support for the iPhone X notch. Apple's app store sucks for utilities, tools, and emulators in comparison to Android. Also for every app that arrives on Apple's app store, 3 apps arrive on Google's play store.

5. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 739; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

3 apps may arrive on google's playstore. But do they match the quality of ios apps btw?

7. path45th

Posts: 407; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

Still, the best apps are on iOS. One of the reasons I switched to the iPhone. The google play feels like a second rate.

10. japkoslav

Posts: 1552; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

I use both platforms and my experience is pretty much opposite - most of the better "life quality apps" are on Android. Better keyboards, better call lists, better calendar integration, better UI, that you can change, better splitscreen, weather widgets ... etc.

19. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1472; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I suppose that's open to debate. iOS is a lot more restricted in what apps can do, so it misses out on a lot of high quality personalisation apps that Android has. The majority of popular apps work equally good on Android as on iOS and at times Android versions offer things that iOS versions can't due to Apple's restrictions. So that statement of yours isn't exactly true.

20. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

Disagree. I actually think Android have fantastic apps these days, and some of them are definitely better than on IOS. I think you're the kind of person that hasn't really had too much experience with Android phones as of recently and you're just going by the prejudice that formed against Android apps back in the early days of smartphones. A lot of the people who say that IOS simply has better apps is not actually familiar with the current android Apps and simply base it on the stereotypes from the early days. It's sad when ignorance dominates as much as it does in this regard.

35. ColinW

Posts: 413; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

Have you any proof of this? Of course not, it is yet another Apple myth.

8. c.m.s

Posts: 239; Member since: Dec 10, 2017

Numbers means nothing. Look at the games category for example. In the last few month big games like Fortnite, Inside, Grid, Life is strange for example have been released first on iOS (not sure any of them made it to Android yet). That is what I care about, not the number of apps.

21. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

I'm sorry, but who cares about whether or not you have Life is Strange on your phone or not? The only people who care about that is kids, actual adults care about everything but games. When it comes to every other category other than games, then you can't say that IOS has higher quality apps, it's simply not true anymore, as Android apps is a lot better these days.

24. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

"Android apps is a lot better these days" I'd like to see this list.

26. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

List? It's a general statement. Try using them while actually having an open mind that isn't dominated by ignorance and prejudice, then you would see for yourself. The only area i can think of that IOS has better quality apps in overall is games, but i'm not a child, so i don't really care about games, as the games i can find on android are more than enough. I'm not looking for a whole FPS game on my phone, as such games with complicated controls don't work properly on a smartphone, you should only play those types of games on a proper Windows gaming desktop. I just want simple games on my smartphone, as that is what actually works well on a smaphone and in that category android has more than enough to keep you content.

32. Ninetysix

Posts: 2965; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

I wonder which eco system the devs get more $$$ from. Hmm...Better revenue = better apps. Like I said, give us a list so we can actually talk about something. Don't spew stuff out of your bum without proof.

31. c.m.s

Posts: 239; Member since: Dec 10, 2017

Go check your facts. The average gamer is 30+, alot of adults play games. And games are the most profitable apps on the app stores. iOS is still a more profitable plattform, that is one reason for it being the plattform the larger companies aim for first.

27. sgodsell

Posts: 7570; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You mentioned a few games. Then what about the VR and AR games and apps released for Android. That never arrived for iOS. Not to mention all the new apps utilities, tools, and special apps that arrive ONLY for Android. If you only use iOS, then your perspective is certainly limited. Because any of the VR/AR apps just literally blow away any regular touch screen mobile apps. Why do you think Apple is working on a VR/AR headset and new OS for that to arrive by 2020 and maybe as early as 2019. Then you get idiots that will say that those things are only ready when Apple starts to use and embrace those technologies. No wonder why the sheep term came into play specifically for Apple users.

33. c.m.s

Posts: 239; Member since: Dec 10, 2017

AR games? Are you forgetting ARKit? There are alot of AR games for iOS that is not out on Android yet. But both VR/AR is such a small niche of game that is hardly worth mention. It does not matter i Apple is working on a headset, its still such a small market. FYI I'm a developer myself, I have access to both iOS and Android devices.

15. midan

Posts: 3112; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"Also for every app that arrives on Apple's app store, 3 apps arrive on Google's play store." Yes and that's bad thing, anyone without skills can do apps or games for Android. With iOS you need Apple developer account which cost money, that means you have to be more serious about your work, which means less crap. With Android everyone can be developer without any effort. And about your talk about VR seriously no-one cares, mobile VR is DOA Also about your 5 million apps comment, it came from random analyst, nothing to do with Apple.

22. TechSceptic

Posts: 1156; Member since: Feb 05, 2018

You still have to go to a progress to have your app on the Google Play Store and that progress also involves a payment, just as with IOS. You're right about the difficulty of getting your apps on the different app stores. One of the obstacles you have on IOS is that Apple is a lot more greedy and that shows in the app store as well, as you have to pay Apple a lot more than you have to pay Google to get your app on their respective play stores.

23. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1472; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

The App Store was flooded with as many crap apps as Android was. Apple's run a broom through it more than once to get rid of tens of thousands of cloned apps. One big difference is that Android allows for a wider variety of apps than the App Store does. Creativity wise, if you aim to make something unique Android is the better place for it. The App Store is plagued by the same thing Apple is plagued with, a stunning lack of originality.

18. AVVA1

Posts: 228; Member since: Aug 01, 2017

You really do have an obessesion with iPhone X notch,dont you? For everyone wein you do regarding apple article here in Phonearena you keep talking about notch, developer forcing apple to support it, blah blah If you're happy with your android device then stop weining about Apple article especially if you keep on hating. Lol. Grow up not everything you want also wanted by everyone. You dont like Apple it's fine but stop with weining. Apple is not perfect it has flaw just like every other OEMs.

6. AVVA1

Posts: 228; Member since: Aug 01, 2017

I'm glad Apple is cleaning the app store thoroughly. I'm excited for Marzipan hope to hear about it on WWDC.

2. Jrod99

Posts: 778; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Yeah. I notice some games MIA that didn’t support ios11. Don’t look like they’re going to updated either.

12. PhoenixFirebird

Posts: 127; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

Android needs high quality manual photo editing apps like Focos which can edit depth photos.

17. midan

Posts: 3112; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

This is very good news, Apple did right thing to force developers to use 64 bit apps. Developers had two years to upgrade their Apps so enough time for everyone So If they didn't, it pretty much says that they don't care the App and won't never update it anymore so who would buy or download those "dead" apps. Usually when i download or buy apps, first i check when the last update came, If it shows over year ago, i won't bother.

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