An App Store Retrospective

Four years ago today, the Apple App Store launched, changing the face of software distribution. Anyone from a curious 13-year old to a grizzled developer who lived through learning Pascal can release an app and hope to strike gold. Even Apple’s own operating systems are distributed with this model now. I distinctly remember my first thoughts on the matter. I was standing in line for the iPhone 3G, not for myself, but for a coworker who I had convinced to upgrade (so I could get his original iPhone). Imagine, the internet in my pocket, anywhere I went. The future had arrived for me. Four years later, this has become commonplace. But I do remember being asked on that line, “so what do you think about this app store?” by a curious line stander. I didn’t have much background actually developing software yet, so I heartily told him “Eh, you can already download apps from Installer, who cares where you get it from?” (Sidenote: Remember Installer?)

Back from the Mac

iOS 6 ends up bringing a lot of interesting new features to the regular user, and looking over the API differences, not a lot on the developer side of things. iOS 5 was a gigantic leap for developers, starting with ARC, Storyboards, and a bajillion1 APIs opened up. I’m willing to bet that this is becoming Apple’s calling card. One on, one off, is now to be prevalent in designing both hardware and software.

  1. That’s a technical term for all you non-tech savvy folk. ↩︎


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