Ed­i­tor's Mes­sage

Steve Jobs and the Legacy of the App Store

iPhone Life Magazine - - NEWS -

It's been just over seven years since Steve Jobs an­nounced the App Store, and yet it's hard to imag­ine our lives with­out it. Ap­ple of­fi­cially launched the app mar­ket­place on July 10, 2008, offering 552 apps in all. Within three days, the store had caught on, gar­ner­ing more than 10 mil­lion down­loads. The App Store is un­doubt­edly one of Ap­ple's most im­por­tant in­ven­tions. Apps have rev­o­lu­tion­ized the way we do so many things—look no fur­ther than Uber, Tin­der, or Spo­tify for proof. And while Steve Jobs didn't in­vent mo­bile apps, he did suc­cess­fully pop­u­lar­ize them. The iPhone and iPad are of­ten cred­ited as Jobs's great­est lega­cies, yet the App Store is a huge part of why they have such a loyal user base in the first place. Ne­glect­ing apps' po­ten­tial was ul­ti­mately the nail in the cof­fin for other com­pa­nies, such as Palm with its we­bOS, an oth­er­wise great op­er­at­ing sys­tem that in­cluded mul­ti­task­ing long be­fore the iPhone had it. I bought a Palm Pixi when it came out in 2009, and while I loved its compact phys­i­cal key­board and user-friendly OS, I be­came painfully aware of its mea­ger sup­ply of apps as the iPhone's reser­voir of apps grew by the thou­sands. By the time Palm got it to­gether to of­fer a de­vel­oper's kit for cre­at­ing na­tive apps, I, like many oth­ers, had made the switch to Ap­ple, and have never looked back. With the App Store, Ap­ple cre­ated a vi­brant mar­ket­place for cre­at­ing and sell­ing apps, and as de­vel­op­ers strove to com­pete, they stretched the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of our iPhones by push­ing the de­vices' func­tional lim­its. Take the cam­era, for in­stance. Third-party app de­vel­op­ers came up with apps that used the cam­era in new and bril­liant ways—us­ing the flash as a flash­light or as a way to mea­sure heart rate, or us­ing the cam­era it­self to reg­is­ter credit cards and scan doc­u­ments. To­day, there are more than 1.5 mil­lion apps in the App Store. The gold rush for de­vel­op­ers in the early days of the App Store has passed, and dis­cov­er­abil­ity has be­come a chal­lenge. But this crowded app land­scape is what makes cre­at­ing our an­nual Best Apps is­sue so much fun. Within th­ese pages, we delve into apps in more than a dozen cat­e­gories, un­earthing the hid­den gems as well as tout­ing the most pop­u­lar picks, the peren­nial fa­vorites. Apps are what make the iOS ex­pe­ri­ence so in­ter­est­ing, and our aim is to help you ex­pe­ri­ence the best of what the App Store has to of­fer.

Happy down­load­ing!

Donna Cleve­land Ed­i­tor in Chief iPhone Life mag­a­zine, donna@iphonelife.com, @schill­cleve­land

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