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I wish to know how frequently apps in Google Play are updated on average? For instance, statistics such as average number of apps updated per day or number of days in-between 2 successive updates of an app (on average) might be useful to deduce this.

An example number that I wish to see is: 0.5% of apps in Google Play are updated every day (or something like this).

I hypothesize that Android apps, given the easy development and distribution infrastructure, are updated much frequently than the desktop apps.

I wish to have more evidence to support this hypothesis. Please suggest link to any official information (or reliable from tech blogs) that would give insight into such statistics. Thanks.

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From my observations of ~10,000 apps listed at my real-life categorized app-listings, the average app...

  • requests ~7 permissions
  • costs USD 0.88
  • was last updated ~1.5 years (~17 month or 492 days) ago

The last item, a little more detailed:

┌───────────────────────────────────────┬────────┐
| last updated more than 2 years ago    | 24.51% |
| last updated 1..2 years ago           | 20.27% |
| last updated 6..12 month ago          | 17.84% |
| updated within the last 6 month       | 34.87% |
└───────────────────────────────────────┴────────┘

As you've correctly pointed out in your comment, that doesn't sum up to 100%. The difference are apps currently not listed in any of the markets I cater for (i.e. Google Play, F-Droid, Aptoide). As unlistings may be (and sometimes have been) temporary, I still keep those for a few month before removing them finally. Plus add a little "rounding blur" ;)

So I'm afraid I just spoiled your theory...

BTW: Though you didn't ask for: Top categories of "max permissions per app on average" is, after "personal assistants" (31.7 perms/app) cheaper calls (22.2 perms/app – shame to him who thinks evil of it ;)). Only then come apps to remote-control your device (where many permissions make much sense, considered you want to control as much as possible), and "Antivirus", with ~19 perms/app each.

(Statistics as per November 5, 2014)

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  • Thanks for a detailed reply, Izzy. I have the following questions: (1) The sum of all the percentage splits (2.51+20.27+17.84+34.87) is 97.49 and not 100. Hence, I am not able to completely make sense of interval in which apps are updated. (2) Actually, you helped my hypothesis by suggesting that a large fraction of apps are updated frequently i.e. more than 1/3 of apps are updated within a time frame of 6 months (shortest period in your list). Thanks again and let me if I have misinterpreted any of the figures. – Annamalai N Nov 5 '14 at 4:30
  • (1) are apps still in my lists but currently not listed on play (might be temporarily removed, which is why I still keep them for a while). (2) there are even some with 1+ weekly updates, but those are rather rare exceptions. And yes, ~1/3 was at least updated once within the last 6 month – but that doesn't say anything about frequency (might have been a) just the initial release of a new app or b) the only update an app ever got :) I don't keep track of frequencies, just the "last release". – Izzy Nov 5 '14 at 7:24
  • Oh, I see. Now, I get a clear idea of what was happening! As you mentioned, there is no information regarding the frequency of updates. I'll look forward more responses to this question and see if they point to any such info on frequency. Thanks. – Annamalai N Nov 5 '14 at 7:38
  • Good luck! Though I doubt there are such stats available. Please remember to "accept" the answer solving your question then ("tick" the check-mark next to it). As you can always "adjust" that when a better answer pops up, you might consider doing so for this answer now, so you can't forget ;) – Izzy Nov 5 '14 at 9:57
  • Yes Izzy, I could not find any stats so far on this. But, still I would like to look forward to any useful responses here. FYI, I have accepted your answer. – Annamalai N Nov 20 '14 at 19:09

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