Implementation of stricter rules appears to have adversely affected the total number of apps on the App Store, has they have reportedly dropped from 2.2 million to 2.1 million by the end of 2017. This is said to be the first-ever decline in the number of apps on the App Store, and it is thought to be a direct result of the mass removal of spam, dormant, and 32-bit apps last year. In contrast, Google Play grew nearly 30 percent in 2017 to 3.6 million apps.
According to a report by app insights firm Appfigures, apps available on Apple's App Store dropped to 2.1 million at the end of 2017 - down 5 percent when compared to the 2.2 million apps available at the beginning of the year. It is also reported that developers brought 755,000 new iOS apps in 2017, a 29 percent drop compared to 2016. As we mentioned, this is claimed to be the first drop since the launch of the App Store in 2008.
"The decline is a result of stricter enforcement of Apple's review guidelines, as well as a technical change that eliminated many old apps that were not updated to support 64-bit architecture," the Appfigures team writes in a blog post.
In contrast to the drop in new iOS apps, more than 1.5 million new Android apps were reportedly released on Google Play in 2017. This shows an increase of about 17 percent year over year. Appfigures consider it as the largest jump since 2014.
It is worth pointing out some of the new Android apps were simply the ported versions of the apps available on iOS in the past. "More than twice as many iOS apps came to Android in 2017 than Android apps came into the App Store," the Appfigures team notes. Moreover, it is estimated that around 450,000 apps are available on both Android and iOS.
In June last year, it was spotted that Apple updated its App Store Review Guidelines with a dedicated focus on reducing apps spreading spam on iOS. That move came months after Apple removed hundreds of thousands of dormant and clone apps. The iPhone maker also restricted apps supporting dated 32-bit architecture to encourage developers to start building new creations for 64-bit hardware.