The App Store has just celebrated its fifth anniversary. Can you believe it? In some ways, downloading apps has become so commonplace it’s hard to think back to the days before Angry Birds and FourSquare. Yet at the same time, it doesn’t feel like it should be that old.
The App Store was launched on July 10, 2008 and proffered a mere 500 apps. A few of the most notable initial offerings were eBay, Travelocity, Facebook, Yelp, Shazam, Super Monkey Ball and MLB.com.
Five years later, there are probably Mac users who have that many apps on their iPhone 5s! The App Store was immediately popular, with 10 million apps downloaded in just four days. By April 4, 2009, 1 billion had been downloaded and by June 7, 2010, a whopping 5 billion downloads had been completed through the App Store. As on May 16, 2013 there had been more than 50 billion downloads!
Today, there are more than 900,000 apps available; a far cry from those 500 we started off with. With nearly 1 million apps on the market, there’s something for nearly anything you can think of. There are apps to monitor your sleeping patterns, apps that let you simulate making toast, there is even an app that claims it can help you determine whether a watermelon is ripe or not.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the App Store, Apple has created a special page in the iTunes Store highlighting popular apps and milestones. It’s also offering a selection of popular paid apps for free for the week. They’re good ones, too! For those who want to take advantage of the offer, the gaming apps are Badland, Infinity Blade 2, Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery, Tiny Wings and Where’s My Water? The other apps are Traktor DJ, Over (a photography app), How to Cook Everything, Day One (a journaling app) and Barefoot World Atlas.
It’s incredible to think how quickly technology has developed since Apple released the original iPhone in 2007. In just five short years we’ve gone from the revolutionary first iPhone, which had Safari, html email, YouTube and threaded text messaging to more choices of stunning and useful apps than we can possibly imagine.
In that short period time we’ve upgraded through several versions of the iPhone and also witnessed the initial creation and several generations of the iPad, the iPad Mini and the iPhone 5 with retina display. Accordingly, as mobile technology has developed, apps have too. Today there are versions of apps created specifically for iPads and new Apple devices with retina display.
With rumors swirling about the impending release of an innovative new iPhone and the possibility of Apple “phablets,” what might we see developers release in the App Store between now and 2018? Considering just how quickly mobile technology has developed in the last five years, it’s anyone’s guess. But regardless of what currently unfathomable device Apple releases in the next few years, there is one thing we can be guaranteed of. There (will be) an app for that!