Apple is currently undertaking a massive cleanup at the iOS App Store and thousands of apps have been reportedly purged from the system.

iOS App Store Purge

The information was released Nov. 15 by Sensor Tower, which is an app intelligence company that caters to mobile app developers and publishers. Its report cited that app removal spiked 238 percent in October, affecting more than 47,000 titles. About 28 percent of this figure is said to include games.

According to Mac Rumors, the Entertainment and Books category claimed 9 percent of the casualties each while Education and Lifestyle apps account for 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Apple Warning

The cleanup is part of Apple's earlier pronouncement that it will begin deleting applications that do not meet current standards or simply those that are not working. This drive has been announced several months ago and developers have already been given until Sept. 7 to update their applications.

"We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps for these issues, notifying their developers, and removing problematic and abandoned apps from the App Store," Apple told developers.

App Removal Deadline

Perhaps fearing another deletion controversy, Apple has extended the deadline as the purge seemed to have begun sometime last month. It was not widely publicized and Sensor Tower was only able to discover the action upon learning the uptick in deletion. Apple deletes app on a regular basis but what set the October purge different is that it is 3.4 times higher than the figures for other months on average.

On-going Effort

The cull will probably get even bloodier since it is still underway. Moreover, reports indicate that almost half of the iOS apps had not been updated since last year and over a quarter since 2013. It is not clear how Apple intends to go about its purge because deleting even half of this massive number will radically decimate its stable of apps, which is the company's favorite talking point in iOS promotional efforts.

Apple has notified developers last September and they were asked to make changes within 30 days. It is not yet clear if they complied or whether their efforts met the deadline. The warning, however, should make a significant dent in the number of abandoned apps.

Overall, the spate of app removals is seen as part of Apple's drive to improve the iOS App Store. This makes sense because apps that do not meet guidelines or not updated could cause problems for iOS devices. The company has also been introducing incentives for developers such as revenue sharing and more monetization features.

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