Nearly 115,000 Apps Removed From Google Play Store In H1 2021

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As one of the two largest distribution channels for mobile apps, Google Play has witnessed a surge in revenue and the number of downloads over the years. In 2020 only, Google Play Store hit 108.5 billion downloads and $38.6bn in revenue, a massive 30% jump YoY, while Android users could choose between 3 million apps. However, the number of apps available in the Google Play Store has dropped this year.

According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, nearly 115,000 apps have been removed from the Google Play Store in the first half of 2021, the first decrease in three years.

Google Play Store
The Google Play Store for Android Phones | Photo by Mika Baumeister

Almost 65,000 Apps Removed In May Alone

Over the years, the number of available apps in the Google Play Store has exploded. In July 2014, Android users could choose between 1.3 million apps. By March 2018, this figure almost tripled and hit an all-time high of 3.6 million. After a significant drop to 2.8 million in the next six months, the number of apps continued rising and hit over 3 million again by September 2020.

However, to ensure the quality and trustworthiness of the apps within its app market, Google has released a series of policies to regulate app developers. As a result, thousands of low-quality and policy-violating apps have been removed by Google Play periodically.

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In April, Google introduced a set of new policies and guidelines on how to present Android apps in the Play Store and announced removing all apps with misleading names and graphics.

The Statista and AppBrain data showed that Google removed more than 58,000 apps from its App Store between January and April. Most of them were regular apps, and only 4,500 were low-quality apps.

However, in May alone, the total number of apps was cut down by another 65,000, the highest drop in years. Google’s restrictive policy continued in June, with additional 4,300 apps being removed from the Google Play Store.

Despite that, Google Play still convincingly leads in the total number of available apps. Statistics show Android users could choose between 2.8 billion available apps as of this month, compared to over 2.2 billion apps in App Store.

Google Play Hit 56.2B Downloads In H1 2021, 3.5x More Than App Store

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Last year witnessed a record number of app downloads, as millions of people spent more time indoors and online amid the COVID-19 lockdowns. The surge in the use of mobile apps continued in 2021, with the number of downloads rising to new highs.

Statistics show Google Play hit 56.2bn downloads in the first half of 2021 or 3.5 times more than the App Store. Also, this represents a 6% increase compared to a year-ago period.

The Sensor Tower data also revealed that Google Play revenues practically doubled in the last three years and continued growing in 2021. Between January and June, Android users worldwide spent $23.4bn on Google Play apps, 30% more than in the same period a year ago.

However, App Store still convincingly leads in revenue, with $41.5bn in user spending between January and June 2021.

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