App Store (iOS)

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App Store
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Initial release July 10, 2008; 6 years ago (2008-07-10)
Development status Active / 1.2+ million apps
75 billion apps downloaded (As of June 2014).[1]
Operating system iOS,
Windows and OS X (iTunes)
Platform iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, iPad Mini, iTunes
Type Electronic commerce
License Proprietary freeware
Website www.apple.com/iphone/from-the-app-store/

The App Store is an online market used on Apple's iOS, managed by Apple Inc. The App Store lets users view and download applications that were made with the iOS Software Development Kit. Apps can be downloaded onto an iOS device directly, or onto a computer using iTunes (also managed by Apple).

Apps in the App Store are made mainly for iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads. Some apps can be downloaded for free while others have a cost. Some have "in-app purchases", which are purchases made within the app. These are sometimes done to remove ads or to add features to an app. 30% of all profit made through apps goes to Apple, while 70% goes to whoever made the app. [2]

History[change | change source]

In July 2008, the App Store opened with a change to iTunes. Apple could now control app quality and add extra pricing to the already set cost of an app. A day later, the iPhone 3G was launched and it came with iOS 2.0.1. This version had App Store support, and was soon made available for older iPhones and the iPod Touch. [3] As of February 10,  2012 (2012 -02-10), there are over one million apps on the App Store. [4]

As of January, 2011, the App Store had nearly 10 billion app downloads, which the company said using the "10 Billion App Countdown".[5] At 10:26 am (GMT) on January 22, 2011,[6] the 10 billionth app was downloaded from Apple App Store. As of July that year, 200 million users downloaded over 15 billion apps from the store.[7][8]

Average profit per app is about US$8,700, but Apple does not let the public view this data.[9] In May 2011, Apple approved its 500,000th app. [10]

The success of the App Store led other companies to release their own "app stores", and now any similar service for mobiles are sometimes called app stores. [11][12][13][14] However, Apple attempted to trademark the term App Store in 2008[15][16] and was approved in 2011.[17] However, in June 2011, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton said she'll "probably" deny Apple's attempt to stop Amazon using the "App Store" name.[18][19][20] On July 6, Apple lost the lawsuit.[21]

The word app is now a popular word; in early 2011, app was given 2010's "Word of the Year" by the American Dialect Society.[22] Apple does not have a trademark on the word app, which has been used as short for "application" since at least the mid-1990s[23] and in products since 2002, for example Google Apps (first introduced in 2006).[24]

On October 20, 2010, Apple announced the Mac App Store which was launched on January 6, 2011. It is similar to the one for iOS devices, only it has applications made mainly for Mac computers.[25] The Mac App Store is only accessible by using Mac OS X 10.6.6 "Snow Leopard" or later.

In February 2011, Apple announced a new subscription-based service, which will allow developers to set the length and price of subscriptions. Previously, new magazine or news releases were sold as its own release. The new feature allowed publishers to sell content directly through their apps, allowing users to receive new content over specified periods of time. [26]

During Apple's 2012 Worldwide Developer's Conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the App Store has 400 million accounts with registered credit cards, 650,000 available apps to download and "an astounding 30 billion apps" downloaded from the app store.[27]

When the iPhone 5 was launched, Apple changed the look of the App Store, as well as the iTunes Store and iBookstore, as part of iOS 6.[28]

On January 7, 2013, Apple announced that there have been over 40 billion apps downloaded from their iOS App Store, with about half of those coming in 2012.[29]

On February 1, 2013, Apple told developers that they could begin using appstore.com for links to their apps.[30]

In September 2013, Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference the addition of a Kids category to the App Store with the launch of iOS 7. The category is split by age range and apps made for children under 13 must follow the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).[31]

As of the end of 2013, App Store users spent over US$10 billion in 2013, and users downloaded almost three billion apps in December 2013. This was the most successful month in App Store history, and developers have earned over $15 billion since the making of the App Store.[32]

Number of launched applications[change | change source]

On July 10, 2008, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told USA Today that the App Store contained 500 non-Apple applications for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, and of these 25 percent were free.[33] These applications range from business to game applications, entertainment to educational applications, and many more. On July 11, 2008, the store opened, allowing users to buy applications and put them on an iPhone or iPod Touch with iOS 2.0. Ten million applications were downloaded the first weekend.[34]

On January 16, 2009, Apple said on its website that 500 million applications had been downloaded.[35] The billionth application was downloaded on April 23, 2009.[36] In March 2012, the number of apps downloaded reached 25 billion.[37]

Unlike the apps that come standard on the iPhone, apps downloaded from the App Store can be removed by the user at any time.

Chart showing App Store downloads and available apps over time.
Date Available apps Downloads Average downloads per app
July 11, 2008[38] 500 <not known> <not known>
July 14, 2008[34] 800 10,000,000 12,500
September 9, 2008[39] 3,000 100,000,000 (100 million) 18,334
October 22, 2008[40] 7,500 200,000,000 26,667
January 16, 2009[35] 15,000 500,000,000 33,334
March 17, 2009[41] 25,000 800,000,000 32,000
April 4, 2009[36] 35,000 1,000,000,000 (one billion) 28,571
June 8, 2009[42] 50,000 1,000,000,000+ (over one billion) ~20,000 (~ means about)
July 11, 2009[source?] 55,000 1,000,000,000+ ~18,182
July 14, 2009[43] 65,000 1,500,000,000 23,077
September 9, 2009 75,000 1,800,000,000 24,000
September 28, 2009[44][45] 85,000 2,000,000,000 (2 billion) 23,529
November 4, 2009[46][47] 100,000 2,000,000,000+ ~20,000
January 5, 2010[48][49] 120,000 3,000,000,000+ ~25,000
March 20, 2010[50] 150,000+ 3,000,000,000+ ~20,000
April 8, 2010[51] 185,000+ 4,000,000,000+ ~21,622
April 29, 2010[52] 200,000+ 4,500,000,000+ ~22,500
June 7, 2010[53] 225,000+ 5,000,000,000+ ~22,222
September 1, 2010[54] 250,000+ 6,500,000,000+ ~26,000
October 20, 2010 300,000+[55] 7,000,000,000[56] ~23,334
Jan 22, 2011[57] 350,000+ 10,000,000,000+ (over 10 billion) ~28,571
June 6, 2011[4] 425,000+ 14,000,000,000+ ~32,941
July 7, 2011[7] 425,000+ 15,000,000,000+ ~35,294
October 4, 2011[58] 500,000+ 18,000,000,000+ ~36,000
February 28, 2012 500,000+ 24,000,000,000+ ~40,000
March 3, 2012[59] 500,000+ 25,000,000,000+ ~50,000
March 5, 2012[60] 550,000+ 25,000,000,000+ ~45,455
March 7, 2012[source?] 585,000+ 25,000,000,000+ ~42,735
June 11, 2012[61] 650,000+ 30,000,000,000+ (over thirty billion) ~46,154
September 12, 2012[62] 700,000+[62] 35,000,000,000+[63] ~50,000
January 7, 2013[64] 775,000+[64] 40,000,000,000+[64] ~51,613
January 28, 2013[65] 800,000+[65] 40,000,000,000+[64] 50,000
April 23, 2013 825,000+ 45,000,000,000+ 50,000
May 16, 2013 850,000+ 50,000,000,000+[66] 50,000
June 10, 2013 900,000+ 50,000,000,000+ 50,000
October 22, 2013 1,000,000+[67] 60,000,000,000+[67] 60,000
June 2, 2014 1,200,000+[1] 75,000,000,000+ 62,500

iPad applications[change | change source]

The iPad was launched in April 2010 with over 3000 applications made for it. About eight months after the release of the iPad, over 50,000 apps were available for it.

As of July 2011, 16 months after the iPad launched, there were over 100,000 apps available at the App Store made for the device.[68]

By the end of November 2011, Apple advertised in a holiday newsletter of the online Apple Store there are more than 140,000 iPad apps available.

As of January 7, 2013, there were more than 300,000 native iPad apps available for users.[64]

As of October 22, 2013, there were more than 475,000 native iPad apps available for users.[69]

Most popular apps[change | change source]

In April 2009, Apple announced the apps which had the most number of downloads since the store was launched. With paid apps, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D, by Activision Publishing, was ranked first, while Facebook had the same position among free apps, with the next position taken by Google Earth.[70]

The top 25 most popular Paid and Free apps, as of 2012, are listed below:[71][72]

Rank Paid apps Free apps
1 Angry Birds Clash of Clans
2 Doodle Jump Skype
3 Fruit Ninja eBay
4 Angry Birds Seasons Google Earth
5 Cut the Rope Google Search
6 TuneIn Radio Pro Twitter
7 Monopoly Paper Toss
8 Angry Birds Rio Bump
9 FatBooth BBC News
10 Flight Control Shazam
11 SCRABBLE Talking Tom
12 Tiny Wings Pac-Man Lite
13 The Sims 3 Sky Sports Live Football Score Centre
14 Where's Wally? In Hollywood Angry Birds Lite
15 Sleep Cycle alarm clock Amazon Mobile
16 Moto X Mayhem Waterslide Extreme
17 Color Splash Touch Hockey:FS5 (Free)
18 Camera+ Sky News
19 Flick Kick Football iPint
20 The Moron Test Facebook Messenger
21 Sonic the Hedgehog Met Office Weather application
22 Alarm Clock Pro Movies by Flixster - with Rotten Tomatoes
23 Sleep Talk Recorder Temple Run
24 Pocket God Viber
25 Whatsapp WeChat

Application ratings[change | change source]

Apple rates apps worldwide based on their content, and gives the app an age group for which is appropriate. The following are the ratings that Apple has detailed:

Rating Description
4+ All app content should be child-friendly.
9+ May contain occasional appearances of cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence, and occasional mature or horror-themed content which may not be good for children under 9.
12+ May contain frequent cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence, mature or suggestive themes, may sometimes have bad language, and simulated gambling. These may not be suitable to children under 12 years of age.
17+ May contain frequent and intense realistic violence, internet access without restriction, frequent and intense mature, horror, and suggestive themes; also strong sexual content, nudity, harsh language, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs which may not be suitable for children under the age of 17. When an app of this rating is requested for download, a message will appear on the device, asking if the user is 17 or older, before starting the download.

App approval process[change | change source]

Apple must review all applications before they can enter the App Store for users to download.

As of 2013, Apple used a method of reviewing apps which had flaws, and this meant that some bad apps could get past the review process.[73][74]

Controversial apps[change | change source]

Many times, Apple has removed apps because they did not follow the Apple policies for apps.

In November 2012, Boyfriend Maker, a dating sim game, was removed due to "reports of references to violent sexual acts and paedophilia"[75] which were not appropriate to Boyfriend Maker's age rating of 4+. A modified version named Boyfriend Maker Plus was approved by Apple in April 2013.[76]

On March 11, 2013, HiddenApps was approved and appeared in the App Store. This app allowed access to special developer-only menus, could allow built-in apps to be hidden, and an option to turn off iAds, Apple's ad system..[77]

National limitations[change | change source]

While Apple wants the App Store to be available worldwide, their market is restricted to country borders. Different countries have slightly different app stores. Some apps may only be available on the app stores of a few countries, while others can be available in many countries. Trying to use an app store of one country while in another may be a problem: Apple warns that "one of the risks of creating a German account while you are in Greece is, our system may able to detect it and it may put restrictions on your account (German) that will prevent you from using the iTunes Store".

Similar services for other devices[change | change source]

Other mobile devices have other app stores available for them. Some of these are made by the company that made the device, but not all are that way. Amazon.com has the Amazon Appstore for all Android users. The Google Play store (was known as Android Market) is the official store for Google's Android devices. In 2010, Microsoft created the Windows Phone Store, an online market for their Windows Phone devices. In October 2012, the Windows Store was made for Windows 8 and Windows RT computers.

Nokia also has the Ovi Store, [78] for Nokia devices. BlackBerry has an app store named BlackBerry World. [79] BlackBerry 10 users do not have to use BlackBerry World, they are allowed to use other app stores as well.

Game consoles, such as the Nintendo DSi, also have their own online stores. The DSi has the "DSi Shop", while the Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable) and the PlayStation Vita have the PlayStation Store.

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