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The Shrinking App Store

Sarah Perez, reporting for TechCrunch:

The App Store shrank for the first time in 2017, according to a new report from Appfigures. The report found the App Store lost 5 percent of its total apps over the course of the year, dropping from 2.2 million published iOS apps in the beginning of the year to 2.1 million by year-end.

Appfigures speculated the changes had to do with a combination of factors, including stricter enforcement of Apple’s review guidelines, along with a technical change requiring app developers to update their apps to the 64-bit architecture.

With the previously announced App Store cleanup and iOS 11’s 32-bit purge, it’s no surprise at all that the App Store shrank during the year. To the average user though, a store with 2.1 million apps is no different than one with 2.2 million. Plus, in theory the apps that remain are of a higher overall quality than what was removed, so this should turn out to be a net gain for users.

Another way users benefit: the App Store’s search engine has long had a reputation for being ineffective, so a smaller App Store should mean it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.