In 2007 the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone, but it wasn’t until July 10, 2008 that Apple launched the App Store and revolutionized how software was developed, distributed, discovered, and downloaded, not just on mobile but on computers. Today, just like how almost every phone has a large, capacitive touch screen and multitouch interactivity, almost every phone has platform-provided store where you can get apps to run on it. Just like the iPod had iTunes, the iPhone (and later iPad) had the App Store. And it turns 6 years old today!
Creating the App Store was by no means easy. As a good friend of mine put it, it required a forced march from an engineering team already exhausted by shipping the iPhone itself. It took an incredible amount of time and effort from the executives, coders, and designers, from the iPhone division to the iTunes division to the marketing and developer relations division, to get it all done. And it took the time and talents of a remarkable group of early developers, from the Mac community to the gaming community to first timers eager to break into the industry, to get apps ready for sale.
It took technology, it took people, and it took a tremendous act of will from all involved. Yet on July 10, 2008, alongside the iPhone 3G and MobileMe, the App Store shipped. And once again, nothing was ever the same.
So to everyone who built the App Store and populated it then, to everyone who manages, reviews, edits, and develops for it today, and to everyone who uses it every day, happy birthday!
If you had an iPhone on App Store launch day, let me know — which apps did you buy or download first?