The App Store opened July 10, 2008, transforming the way we communicate, work, play and learn.
Over the last ten years, the App Store has revolutionized the world, introducing the concept of apps, democratizing software distribution and igniting innovation. Today there are customers in over 155 countries worldwide and over $100 billion has been paid out to developers.
Apps themselves are a global phenomenon, in use by people of all ages and backgrounds.
Apps have become part of the daily lives of people all over the world, and an essential part of their personal goals, play and productivity. This revolution continues today.
Creating a Safe, Trusted App Marketplace
Prior to the launch of the App Store, the software industry was dominated by a few powerful players. An individual software developer could not put out his or her own software as the cost of distribution was too high to compete with the big players. The App Store changed all of this, allowing anyone whether they were a single developer, a small studio or large company, put out a custom app of their own design and reach customers all over the world. The App Store opened the door for any developer.
The App Store also emphasized consumer privacy and set up guidelines for developers to ensure this and a security process for app submissions. This protected consumers and ensured that the App Store was a safe marketplace for consumers, while providing them with an excellent experience as well. Over the years, the App Store has added categories and different ways to discover and access apps. The App Store has become enormously successful over the years and by June 2018, had paid out $100 billion to developers.
Last year, Apple unveiled its new App Store, with dedicated Games and Apps tabs to help customers find what they were looking for and other features to encourage discovery and access to new apps. The Today tab also spotlights compelling app stories. Customers can now also learn more about the people who created apps they love to use. These stories have been read by over 1 million people and that number continues to grow. The App Store itself sees over 500 million visitors per week who now spend more time exploring and discovering new apps.
Inspiring New Mobile-First Businesses and the App Economy
The App Store and the popularity of the iPhone in 2007 and iPad soon after in 2010, led to the rise of new mobile-first businesses. The App Store inspired new ideas and opened the doors for individual advancement through app companies, solo entrepreneurs and smaller studios. The iPhone ignited business transformation in the ways people communicate, work, learn and play and the App Store laid down the foundation for using 'apps.' A new method of sharing information was born - apps. Apps could serve any industry.
The App Store empowered many people all over the world to be successful and creative in ways that had never been achieved before.
How Customers Interact with Business
In the last 10 years, apps have become an important method of customer interaction with businesses. Apps help people in their everyday lives, from personal motivation and fitness to paying bills, shopping, booking hotels, paying for flights or making dinner reservations. In most aspects of a person's life, there's an app for that.
Billion Dollar Startups Influence Existing Businesses To Build Apps
Several startups ranging from Instagram, Uber, Lyft and Instacart used iPhone features such as the built-in camera, Apple Pay, GPS and Location Services to provide their customers with personalized, on-demand experiences. Their businesses began as apps in the App Store. Their success and popularity among customers also led to the development of apps from existing web-based businesses such as Facebook, AirBnB and Amazon.
In 2016, there were 83,000 app releases per month. While this number has slowed down, the number of app updates has skyrocketed. By November 2017 with the launch of the new iPhone X, there were 477,000 app updates per month so that apps can remain relevant to users. On average, an app is updated 1.4 times per month. Games, business and utility apps are the most popular apps to make among developers.
Since its launch, the App Store has been the most popular marketplace for games, from new games such as Angry Birds to favorites such as Pokémon Go, Pac-Man and Super Mario Run, a new experience based on the popular Super Mario game by Nintendo.
The App Store also brought gaming mainstream, largely in part due to the ease of use of Multi-Touch technology on both the iPhone and iPad and being able to play on the go.
Subscriptions has offered a way for developers and companies to earn income from apps. Customers are able to first try out the apps with a free version and then pay to unlock different levels of functionality. $1 billion was paid out to developers from IAP and paid apps by June 2010.
Streaming Video and Entertainment on the Go
Watching TV shows, movies and video on the go has been growing worldwide and the App Store has been at the forefront of this, as customers love to watch videos using their iPhones and iPads. Today there are many service providers such as HBO, Netflix, Sling TV and Hulu that provide high quality shows for customers anywhere, anytime.
Apps have also unlocked new ways to learn, be productive and to create, especially with the launch of the iPad in 2010. Today there are over 1.3 million apps for the iPad. Apple also launched Swift Playgrounds, an iPad app to teach coding concepts for students of all ages to learn Apple's own coding language, Swift. Apple has also supported learning and education through its own free labs and workshops at Apple Stores with Today at Apple, Everyone Can Code initiatives and through the WWDC annual event.
Health and Fitness Apps
The App Store has also helped advance innovation in health and fitness with medical apps and health monitoring capabilities built into the iPhone such as HealthKit and Apple Watch. This has also inspired customers to be more mindful of their health and to be more active. Over 500 doctors and medical researchers have used Apple’s ResearchKit and CareKit software tools for clinical studies on topics varying from autism and Parkinson’s disease to post-surgical at-home rehabilitation and physical therapy.
What Lies Ahead: Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality (AR) became available to users practically overnight with the launch of iOS 11 in 2017, making the App Store the largest AR platform in the world. AR enables creators to bring virtual experiences into the real world. This is transformative and changes the way customers play and work. ARKit continues to grow and evolve with the latest iteration allowing shared experiences with multiple players for a game or project collaboration.
App usage is also growing into other areas, such as automotive displays and televisions. Apps have made a tremendous contribution to the quality of life for people all over the world, while providing a personalized individual experience. Having apps on an iPhone removes the need for an immediate pen and paper, carrying an additional camera or laptop for messaging and quick email. Apps opened the door to portability and new ways of interacting with people and the environment.
We are excited to create, design and engineer apps for our clients for the iOS ecosystem from iPhones and iPads to Macs, Apple Watches, Apple TV and Car Play. Thanks for reading!