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New Apptrace tool finds 400,000 'zombie' iOS apps

Flexing its muscles for the first time today, the new Apptrace tool discovered 400,000 "zombie" iOS apps.

Berlin-based mobile analytics and ad verification firm Adeven unveiled the beta version of Apptrace today, which confirmed that almost two-thirds of the 650,000 apps in the Apple App Store are left untouched.

The App Store has several thousand apps that get downloaded on a regular basis, but the rest sit idly in the store, gathering dust and remaining invisible to users.

"Having worked in the industry for a number of years my co-founders and I became frustrated with what we saw as broken offerings," Adeven CEO Christian Henschel said in a statement.

"No one wants to develop or run a campaign in an App Zombie," he said. Apptrace aims to reduce that risk.

Adeven wants to update a system that Henschel said is difficult to navigate and often provides two-day-old data. Apptrace promises data that is no more than six hours old.

"As a publisher, we like to keep track [of] the app store ecosystem," Stefan Menden, CEO of JustBook, said in a statement. "We need to know how our app performs and how our competitors do ... and we need to know it fast."

More advancements are expected for the beta service, including the addition of in-app analytics and the ability to compare apps against each other, according to GigaOM.

"We have worked with ranking tools in the past," Andreas Riedel, publisher of Germany's On Air TV Guide app, said in a statement. "None gave us the specific information to predict how we're doing on the market. We're happy with where Apptrace is now and are looking forward to the next features."

Apptrace isn't exactly one-of-a-kind; it is competing with resources like,, Flurry, App Annie, Mopub, mopapp, and Distimo – companies that track and analyse app sales for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, and Amazon platforms.

The service does its part to stand out, though, if not only because it is free to use for developers.

Apptrace will expand to Android analytics in the fourth quarter. It currently collects iOS data from 155 countries where the App Store is running.

According to Apptrace, app launches slowed this year. In the first six months of 2011, there were 250,668 new apps added to the App Store, 135,698 of which were free. This year, 26,646 new applications were unveiled during the same time period, with more than 17,300 of them coming at no cost to the user.