Declining App Store growth isn’t upsetting the Apple cart.
There were 2.2 million apps available on the Apple App Store at the start of 2017. By the end of the year, there were 2.1 million.
That 100,000 decline marks the first time in its ten year history the Apple App Store has shrunk.
At first glance, these numbers look concerning, especially given that Google Play continued its rapid rise – now totaling more than 3.6 million. However, the App Store’s decline may be more a case of addition by subtraction than a harbinger of the Applecalypse.
Appfigures suggests the downward trend was 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.”
Apple’s goal of increased app quality has been underway for a couple years now. It promised to begin removing zombie apps back in 2016 and Appfigures’ data suggests these efforts are finally starting to bear fruit.
The move by Apple to prioritize quality over quantity is a smart one. It shows Apple is serious about the user experience, while holding developers accountable for the quality of their apps.
Now, the onus is on developers to create great apps users will love. Realizing this, it’s key for brands and developers to recognize what common functional issues impact the user experience most often. There are many testing strategies and tools available to make a brand’s mobile app stand out from the rest. The important thing is to use the right tools for the right job. A mix of different testing approaches that are closely tied into the software development lifecycle will provide the best results. More than anything, it’s important to test early and test often.