The App Store and Play Store clean up: trash over 592,000 obsolete or malicious applications

In an effort to solve the zombie application problem , Google and Apple have been cutting down a huge amount of apps from their respective marketplace catalogs. In the second quarter of 2022, the two companies together removed more than 592,000 applications .

The data refers to a heterogeneous group of applications: some were not updated for many years, and had been effectively abandoned by their own developers; other apps were removed for security reasons , for example because they did not comply with the policies of the two stores or because they included dangerous or fraudulent content.

Almost 600,000 applications are not few, even more so considering that during the first quarter of 2022 Apple and Google had limited themselves to removing 220,000, that is less than half.

The vast majority of the removed applications belonged to the category of so-called zombie apps: that is, software that hadn’t received any form of update for over two years. Updates are important, both because they allow the app to work properly with the latest versions of operating systems, and because they improve user security by removing any exploits and vulnerabilities. As many as 64% of the apps removed from the Apple App Store had not been updated for at least two years.

Cumulatively, the apps deleted by Google and Apple had garnered over 172 million views over the years. A small minority of the deleted apps – 35 – were linked to the Russian bank Sberbank, recently the subject of sanctions against Russia approved after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

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