Apple Threatens More Than 750,000 Apps

Update: Apple seems to be moving very quickly with this cleanup. Thousands of apps have already been removed. We’ll be releasing a report in the next few days with details.

Yesterday Apple launched a slew of goodies to get excited about. Less known however, is that Apple also introduced new rules for developers that go into effect immediately and threaten new and existing apps alike.

The new rules state that apps can’t have names that are longer than 50 characters and that existing apps that are outdated will be removed immediately.

What’s the magnitude of these new requirements? We used Explorer to dig through all iOS apps and here’s what we found.

11% of apps have names that are too long

A large number of apps, to the tune of 220,000, are currently in violation of the new name length requirement. Since this rule applies to new apps as well as app updates, that’s quite a few developers that will have to adjust.

Games will be hit the hardest

Games, the single largest category in the App Store, takes the cake for category with most apps with names longer than 50 characters. In fact, a little over 25% of games have names that are too long. That translates to more than 100,000 games.

Next on the list–Education, Entertainment, and Photography–will take a hit of nearly 30,000 apps. Not as big as games, but considering the categories that’s pretty big to begin with.

Top ranked apps are mostly in the clear

We analyzed the top 400 Free, Paid, and Grossing apps in the U.S. and discovered that most app names are already short enough. Of the top 400 Free, Paid, and Grossing apps 78, 72, and 84 apps (respectively) have names that are too long. That number drops by about a half to 35, 27, and 45 as we move up to the Top 200, and gets even smaller, 13, 11, and 24 as we move into the Top 100.

We reviewed those offending apps by hand and discovered that in most cases the extra characters do seem to be keywords stuffed into the name, most likely for ASO. This is exactly what Apple is trying to prevent. That said, none of the names looked like a list of keywords and they mostly looked like sentences describing the app. However, that’s not necessarily consistent as we go deeper into categories, so Apple’s ruling still makes sense.

Fun stat: The average length of a top app’s name is 31 characters.

Three out of four of those apps are free

Free apps, be it freemium or ad-supported, seem to be the biggest violators both as a percentage (74%) and also as an absolute number (170,387). This makes sense given those strategies have grown very quickly in the App Store in the last few years.

Outdated apps

The second requirement, which Apple states is grounds for immediate removal from the store, is a bit more general.

From Apple’s statement

“We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines, or are outdated.”

There’s no real good way to automatically identify such apps, so in this part of the analysis we’ll be using the date an app was last updated as our proxy metric.

We’ve set our filter to two years, and refer to any app that hasn’t been updated in that period as “outdated”. We chose two years because that’s when Apple transitioned from the 5S to the 6, which has a different screen resolution.

More than 550,000 apps haven’t been updated in over two years

562,688 to be precise. Wow. That’s quite a lot of apps. This number doesn’t include apps that are no longer available on the App Store. All of these apps are currently available for download.

When you’re thinking outdated app you’re probably thinking apps that never really “made it” and thus never got any updates. However, our analysis found some past hits, including: Tiny Wings (last updated on Aug. 2014), Temple Run (Sep. 2013), and Infinity Blade (Feb. 2012). Will Apple pull these apps?

Games (again) are the biggest offenders

Of the ~550k apps that are in jeopardy, a little over 139,000 are games. Surprised?

If we look at share-of-category, about 24% of games might disappear soon. Categories like Education and Entertainment stand to lose about 30% of their inventory. Reference, the category that stands to lose the most, might see almost 50% of its inventory erased. Hmm…

Don’t worry about top apps

We looked at every app that’s ranked in the top 400 Free, Paid and Grossing charts in the U.S. and it looks like top apps get updated very often. We found 19 paid apps and just 1 free app that were outdated. We found no top grossing apps that were outdated.

More outdated apps are paid

62% of outdated apps are paid. That makes sense if we continue our note from before about how free apps are taking over the App Store, replacing their paid variants at times. But, this also means many new developers will have to either update their paid apps (and get no money because updates are free), release a completely new paid app (a la Tweetbot) and risk losing users, or monetize some other way. They can also just let the apps disappear and forgo that revenue stream. Decisions, decisions…

Well that’s it for our analysis. Do you think these rules will have any impact on App Store purchasing trends? Will developers react quickly? Tell us what you think on Twitter and keep an eye out for a follow-up report.

About the data

The data for this report was gathered using Explorer, our mobile app search and intelligence platform. Explorer covers 9+ million apps from all major app stores and provides app store info, SDK analysis, app ranks and ratings, and more.

New: Log Into appFigures With Your Google Account

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Every login form on the site now has the option to log in with Google. Simply click on it and Google will handle the rest. The app will be getting this functionality as well very soon.

Logging in with Google does not link your accounts and there’s no information sharing between appFigures and Google. All we do is use Google to make sure you are you and then take you to your account.

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Are Smaller Mobile Games More Successful?

Striking a balance between the size of your bundle and the type and number of assets your game makes use of is an art form. Push as much as you can in right up front and force the user to wait a bit longer, or keep it small and download chunks later.

There are a host of pros and cons for keeping your app under 100 MB that range from the on-boarding experience to retention and user-acquisition costs. If you’re developing a new game, getting any of these wrong could be detrimental to its short and long term success.

Both Apple and Google have drawn a line at the 100 MB mark, but with different limits: iOS games aren’t limited in size, but games that exceed 100 MB can’t be downloaded over a cellular network, just wifi. Android games are limited to 100 MB and are forced to store additional assets in Expansion packs. Oddly enough, those get downloaded at the same time on most devices, so for this post we’ll be looking at the total size.

In this post we’ll be looking at how successful developers went about structuring their games. To get a better idea of what those games do we dug into our Explorer platform and pulled data for the Top 100 iOS and Android games in the US and analyzed their bundle sizes.

Note: Any mention of Android in this post refers to games available through the Google Play store.

Free games

Size distribution of top free Android games on Google Play by appFigures

Surprised? We weren’t either. Many genres of games have found ways to thrive with the freemium pricing model. Reduced user acquisition costs and less download friction are surefire ways to engage the mass audience.

Apps above and below 100MB - App store insights by appFigures

19% of the Top 100 iOS games are over 100 MB. Those that are over the limit seem to remain under 250 MB in general with only one extreme offender, Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne that’s a hefty 1.2gb.

Android is very similar, but because of the initial 100 MB limit, a bit more extreme. Only 4% of the Top 100 free Android games are over 100 MB. That means most free games aren’t making use of expansion packs at all. In fact, the average file size of an Android game is considerably lower; at roughly 58 MB, free Android games are about half the size of free iOS games, which average 105 MB.

It’s also worth noting that if we zoom in on the top 25 games, there’s only one Android game that exceeds the size limit and four iOS games.

Paid games

Size distribution of top paid Android games on Google Play by appFigures

Paid games seem to exist in completely different universe as you can see in the distribution above. Strangely enough, Android beats iOS in bloat.

Apps above and below 100MB - App store insights by appFigures

44% of the top paid Android games are over 100 MB. That means that unlike free apps, paid Android games are making heavy use of expansion packs. iOS games aren’t too far behind either. More than 33% of the top paid iOS games are over the limit.

The average paid iOS game comes in at roughly 210 MB, double than free iOS games. Those numbers are even higher for paid Android games, which average 330 MB, almost five times larger than free Android games.

Top ranked iOS and Android games that are over 1GB in size - App store insights by appFigures

We found it interesting that between the two stores there are 15 paid games that are over 1gb. Four iOS and 11 Android games. That’s quite a few bytes. All of those seem to be games with well known IP, which probably means they’ve got a dedicated fan base that’s willing to wait. That addicted user base seems to be mainly on Android as well, which isn’t where we thought they’d be. But the numbers tell a different story.

There you have it. ~98% of the top 100 free and ~62% of paid iOS and Android games can be downloaded without wifi. Architect your games wisely with your audience in mind, and don’t forget to eat your vegetables.

Tweet @appfigures if you want the source files for this analysis, are curious about other countries, or just want to say hello.

P.S. — There is a way to get around the 100 MB limit on iOS if you really want it. It’s not pretty, but the internet claims it works:

Introducing Review Alerts: Your Reviews Delivered to Slack and Email

Introducing review alerts to email and Slack | from appFigures

TL;DR Review Alerts notify you when your apps get new reviews from any store or country, with support for powerful filters. Visit the reviews report to get started.

We love app reviews. Sure, they can get a little ridiculous, but they can also be delightful and at times even touching. Regardless they usually provide very valuable feedback to app makers. With so many app stores and countries that user reviews can come from, finding the useful ones might require a little help though.

Our Reviews Report makes it easy to search through all your reviews, and Review Cards are a beautiful way to share them with the world. Today we’re unveiling another important convenience: Review Alerts, to make sure you never miss important user feedback.

Integrated with Slack and email

We’ll automatically send new reviews to where you and your team are hanging out. We’re launching with support for Slack and email and we’ll be adding more convenient integrations in the near future.

App reviews sent automatically by email and to Slack

Track multiple apps from every store and country, and in every language

Every app store has its own way of doing things, which can be a real challenge when releasing apps on multiple platforms. As usual we worked hard to make sure those disparities become completely invisible. We’ll seamlessly notify you about reviews for multiple apps at once, across every store we track and every country. In other words, we’ll let you know about any review from anywhere. For extra convenience we’ll also automatically translate reviews to the language of your choice.

Super simple set up

To get started just configure the reviews report as you normally would, then hit the new Create an alert button. You can mix and match several powerful filters to make sure you only see the reviews that matter to you and your team. You can filter by keyword, star rating, and country.

Set up a review alert for all of your apps in seconds

Filters that save you time

Filters let you customize what kind of reviews you’d like to be alerted about. Below are some filter combinations to give you a taste of what’s possible:

  • Just 4 and 5 star reviews – Get only positive reviews. Useful for marketing. Even better with Review Cards.
  • Reviews mentioning “Crash” or “Bug” – Reviews your developers may be interested in.
  • 1 and 2 star reviews – Reviews your support team may want to take a look at.
  • Negative reviews mentioning “John Stamos” – If you decided to try something new for April Fool’s and wanted to see if it backfired.

What interesting/crazy/useful alerts have you come up with? Tweet them @appfigures so we can share them with the world.

Even more coming up

We’re very excited about the possibilities that Review Alerts open up and we have a lot more types of alerts planned. Soon you’ll be able to receive notifications whenever anything notable happens with any of the apps you track.

We’re also working to integrate Review Alerts with more third-party services so we can send them exactly where you need them to be. We’d love to know which ones would be most helpful to you and your team. As always you can tweet at us or send a good old email.

New: Track App Usage With appFigures

In-app analytics in appFigures

Giving you a complete picture of the performance of your apps is at the core of what we do. Combining different app store metrics like revenue, ranks, and reviews provides tremendous value because it lets you connect the dots. Today the list of data sets we track grows to include a really important one — app usage!

Introducing app usage reports

Track app usage with appFigures

Earlier today we rolled out a new suite of reports that focus on app usage. Much like our other reporting suites for revenue, etc. usage reports provide a simple yet powerful way to view usage data by date, country, or by app.

With the new reporting suite we’ve simplified tracking app usage. The new reporting suite is also deeply integrated with all of your other reports, making it easy to view app store + app usage metrics in one place.

The new reports have built in overlays that include both usage and app store metrics. Using overlays you can select any two metrics from any report on the platform and view them together to answer important questions about your portfolio. Here are a few examples:

  • Downloads vs. Active users – What’s your usage conversion rate?
  • Sessions vs. Active users – How engaged are you users?
  • Sessions/user vs. Avg. session length – Are your users spending time in your app, or using it in bursts?
  • Active users vs. Total revenue – How does your revenue compare to usage?
  • Sessions vs. Ad revenue – Does your ad revenue scale?
  • Avg. session length vs. In-app purchases – How does revenue scale with engagement?

New integrations

You’re probably expecting a link to download our SDK. Good news, we don’t require one, nor adding code to your apps for these to work. Instead, we’ve integrated with iTunes Analytics and Google Analytics.

iTunes Analytics

iTunes Analytics is built right into any iOS or tvOS app and is available right out of the box without the need to make any changes to your app. It’s really neat.

With iTunes Analytics you’ll have access to the following metrics:

  • Sessions
  • Active devices
  • Sessions/device
  • Crashes
  • Paying users

Learn more →

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free analytics service that goes beyond what iTunes Analytics provides and works across all platforms but requires that you add an SDK to your app. Once you have the Google Analytics SDK installed simply link your account and you’ll have access to these metrics:

  • Sessions
  • Active users
  • Avg. session length
  • Sessions/user
  • Views
  • Views/user
  • Unique views
  • Total session length
  • Crashes

Learn more →

If you’re using a different usage analytics SDK you’d like us to integrate please let us know.

We’re really excited about this new reporting suite and data sets, and hope they’ll help you uncover insights quickly so you can act on them and be more successful. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch directly or on Twitter @appfigures.

New: See Your Total Revenue Instantly With the New Revenue Report

See you true bottom line with the new Revenue Report

There are many ways to monetizing your apps. Be one of the many form of advertising, in-app purchases, or even charging for them (gasp!); some apps use a combination of these to maximize revenue. This means that your revenue can come multiple separate channels. While the site offers several different reports that keep track of all of those sources, we know it’s important to be able to easily keep an eye on one more important metric — total revenue.

We’re happy to be rolling out a brand new set of reports that focuses only on the bottom line. Say hello to the new Revenue Report!

The Revenue Report, just like its name, brings together all of your revenue sources into a single report. The report incorporates app sales, in-app purchases, ads, returns, educational sales, and most importantly, total revenue.

With the revenue report you can see all of those metrics with the same convenient charts, tables, and exporting options you’re used to from the sales and ads reports. In addition to the flexible display, the Revenue report also offers three different views, so you can group your revenue by date, country, and app.

One more thing! In addition to the new report, we’ve also added a new route to the API. The new route behaves just like the sales and ads routes but returns all of the new revenue metrics in a single call.

Here’s a sample response:

//GET /v2/reports/revenue?start_date=-30

    total: 6426.95,
    sales: 2504.09,
    iap: 1391.98,
    ads: 2121.11,
    returns: 109.77,
    edu: 300.00

Check out the documentation →

See the report in action in your account, and let us know if you have any questions.

Reminder: iTunes Connect’s Annual Holiday Shutdown Starts Tomorrow

It’s that time again when the trees get lit up and the good folks who run iTunes Connect get a little breather. Although, this year’s shutdown is a little bit different.

First thing’s first, dates. This year’s holiday shutdown will start on Tuesday, December 22nd, and last until Wednesday, December 29th.

What’s different this year is that most of iTunes Connect will actually remain available. This includes all areas we particularly care about, which means you’ll be getting your reports regularly. We’re not sure if there will be any delays, but recommend keeping an eye on our iTunes Connect Status Page for real-time updates.

What you should be aware of is that you won’t be able to submit any new apps, in-app purchases, or app bundles. In addition, you won’t be able to make any changes to your app’s meta data. This includes price changes, so if you’ve got a promotion in mind you should make the change right away.

You can read more about the shutdown here.

We’ll be around this week so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Happy holidays!

Unleash Your App Reviews With Review Cards

Share app store reviews with Review Cards from appFigures

As online consumers we’re always looking for the best deal. Whether buying a car, a toothbrush, or an app, we always feel more comfortable reading a review or two before making any purchasing decisions.

As app developers we know the flip side is true as well: most apps live or die by their app store reviews. To stay on top of things, we often need to share them with our team or our users, but we resort to taking screenshots or copying text, which leave a lot to be desired.

Here at appFigures we think reviews deserve better than that, and we’ve set out to make them easier to share with everyone. Today we’re officially unveiling Review Cards and we’re excited to tell you how they will change the way you use reviews.

Share your reviews with anyone

Until today your reviews could only be viewed by members of your appFigures team, but with Review Cards you can easily share them with anyone. For example you may forward your team a bug report, show off a glowing testimonial to your twitter followers, or just have a hearty laugh with your friends.

Every single review is sharable. Just click ‘Share’ on the bottom-right: Sharing user reviews is easy with Review Cards from appFigures

Designed to be social

Review cards look great in every browser and on every social network. In fact, any app that utilizes Open Graph will automatically know how to render beautiful previews of the links you share. For example this is what a review looks when tweeted, or shared on Slack: Share app store reviews to Slack, Twitter, and other social networks using Review Cards from appFigures

Stays on brand

With Review Cards we set out to create something developers will actually want to share. Whether linking to it internally, tweeting it to your followers, or using it as a marketing tool, we figured you’d need it to look great.

More importantly, we wanted it to connect with your brand. So we put on our thinking caps and created an algorithm to do just that. Each review page is automatically themed based on the colors of its app, and the result is a unique experience that feels tailored to each product.

App store reviews are easy to share with Review Cards from appFigures

(You don’t have to take our word for it, try it out for yourself)

Supports all major app stores

Review Cards are built on top of our reviews engine, which means they’re available for all your apps in every major app store including: The iOS App Store, Google Play, Mac App Store, and Amazon Appstore. Windows reviews are coming soon too!

Built-in translation

When you share a review with someone you can optionally translate it to a language of your choice. Anyone viewing the review can also change the translation language on their own. That means you can send any review to a large multi-lingual group and feel confident that everyone will know what’s going on.

Try it: Original · Spanish · German · Chinese · Hebrew

Powerful traffic analytics

Share Your User Reviews and track stats

If you’re going to share reviews for marketing purposes you’ll need to know how effective they are. Because we love analytics so much, we built them right into every Review Card. Just append /stats to the end of any card’s URL to see how many people visited it, from which countries, and from what sources.

Drive more downloads

To make the most of every page view, we’ve included an app download badge in each card. It’s designed to be prominent, yet tasteful, which helps make Review Cards a great marketing tool. In fact we’ve already seen them make a significant impact in our own testing.

Stay on the lookout for more

We’ll be adding more ways to share your reviews, and to more places. You can also expect review sharing to show up in our app soon.

As always, we’d love your hear your comments. Get in touch directly or tweet @appfigures.

Log into your account to start sharing your app store reviews. Not tracking with us? You’re missing out on the most advanced report for your app store reviews. Sign up for a free trial now.

Everything You Need to Know About the New Apple TV App Store

Update: Apple’s Eddy Cue confirmed that there are more than 2,000 apps in the Apple TV App Store and that games are the leading category in an interview with BuzzFeed.

The long awaited Apple TV App Store opened about a month ago, and since we happen to be into apps that got us pretty excited. We started tracking the new store when it had just opened in late October, and have been keeping a close watch on its progress for a little over a month now. Armed with a database full of apps we set out to share some of the things we’re seeing.

We’ve crunched the numbers and have answered some questions we’ve been getting about the new App Store. Read on for details and interactive charts (a brand new addition to our blog), or skip all the fun and go directly to the highlights at the bottom.

How many apps are there?

There are currently 2,624 apps available for download in the Apple TV App Store. That’s quite a number considering the store is just about a month old. With a pretty steady rate of growth so far, we estimate the store will be hitting 5,000 apps in about a month and 10,000 apps in early 2016.

Let’s take a closer look at the category make up. A common question is which category is the largest? If you’re thinking games you’re not wrong! The Games category is the single largest category on the Apple TV App Store with 1,002 apps. This means Games make up roughly 38% of all Apple TV apps.

This distribution looks fairly healthy with games leading the pack and entertainment trailing behind. For a device that’s connected to your television this makes a lot of sense. We were a bit surprised to see the Shopping category consisting of just 9 apps. With the holiday season closing in we’d expected retailers to jump on this new opportunity. Maybe next year.

As we look through categories there’s something important we should make note of – while developers can publish apps to more than 20 main categories, only seven are currently visible in the Apple TV. We marked those categories with a darker shade of blue. We’re not sure how Apple is deciding which categories to open up, but did notice all apps are downloadable if you search them.

How are they monetizing?

Monetizing on any app store is as challenge, but due to the lack of ads (from Apple’s iAd or 3rd parties), the options are a bit more limited and so developers are currently forced to monetize by charging for their app, or using in-app purchases.

Looking at the data we were a bit surprised. Our expectation, especially for the early batch of apps, was to see the majority of apps being free with in-app purchases. That however does not seem to be the case — 39% of apps on the Apple TV App Store are paid apps.

If this trend continues it could mean great news for developers, signaling that consumers trust the new device to provide them with an experience that’s worth paying for upfront.

Just how much are developers charging? For that, let’s break down those paid apps by price tier.

The majority of paid apps cost $2.99 or less. The race to the bottom hasn’t graced the Apple TV App Store, but it’s worth noting that there are a few brave developers that are challenging that, pricing their apps as high as $59.99.

What are consumers downloading?

Now that we know what’s available and what it costs, let’s take a look at what consumers actually want. To do that we’ve looked up the top 50 apps and grouped them by category.

While there are more games than apps in any other single category, games don’t seem to dominate the top charts (yet?). Instead, it’s Entertainment that’s leading the pack with Games being somewhat of a distant second. The Apple TV could possibly be a great gaming (depends who you ask), but so far consumers are using it to stream their favorite shows. That’s why the top 10 apps are all streaming apps from popular services and cable channels.

While the Apple TV is still fairly small, it’s showing great signs of growth and with the holidays coming up has the potential to turn into a more substantial revenue source for developers very soon. We’ll be keeping an eye on the new store and will put out an updated analysis in the new year that looks at growth, so stay tuned and join the mailing list to be the first to know about it.


  • There are 2,624 apps on the Apple TV App Store.
  • An average of 447 new apps are added to the store every week.
  • 38% of all apps are games.
  • The categories with the most apps are: Games, Entertainment, and Education.
  • There are more than 20 categories apps can be submitted to but only 7 are currently visible.
  • 61% of all apps are free
  • 85% of paid apps cost between $0.99 and $2.99.
  • Entertainment apps dominate the top charts (28 of the Top 50).
  • Only 8 of the top 50 apps are games.

The data

This analysis was done using our comprehensive app catalog which we make available commercially through Appbase. The catalog contains over 4 million apps from all major app stores, including all Apple TV apps regardless of whether they’re in a category that’s available on the Apple TV App Store or not.

Are you making apps for the Apple TV? Sign up for a free trial and start tracking your apps the right way!

Tracking Sales, Ranks, Top Charts, and Featured Apple TV Apps

Track Apple TV apps with appFigures

Last week the new Apple TV started shipping to consumers. With sales expected to exceed 20 million units, developers haven’t missed a beat, launching more than 1,000 apps for the new hardware. And we’re barely a week in!

We rolled out support for tracking downloads and revenue for Apple TV apps last week, and today we’re adding hourly rank tracking, global top charts, and featured app tracking for Apple TV apps, giving developers precise competitive information in near real-time.

Track hourly ranks and top charts for Apple TV apps with appFigures

In addition to tracking downloads and revenue, we’re now also tracking hourly ranks, top charts, and featured apps from the new Apple TV App Store. Ranks and top charts are available for all categories (including Top overall, Entertainment, Games and all 16 games subcategories), all list types (including free, paid, and grossing), and all countries. With these additions, Apple TV apps can now be tracked with the depth and flexibility you’re used to for your other iOS, Mac, Android, and Windows apps.

To track your Apple TV apps simply link your iTunes Connect account. If you already have it connected the new apps should be added automatically for you and included in all reports.

Happy tracking!!