Ten years ago today — July 10, 2008 — the App Store launched and changed our industry, and our lives, forever.
Before the App Store, buying software was a matter of somehow finding out about an app, going to a website, downloading it, figuring out how to install it on your computer, and paying for it somehow. The experience was rarely the same thing twice, unless you were buying apps from the same company.
(And before that it was a matter of buying boxes from a store — or ordering from a place like MacMall or Cyberian Outpost. They had disks or CDs or DVDs. A printed manual, often.)
It’s no wonder most people didn’t buy apps. They used what came with the computer, and if it was a work computer they just used whatever they were given. When people did buy apps, they were often big-name apps from a company with a large marketing budget.
Apps were definitely not a mass-market phenomenon.
But then along came the iPhone in 2007 — and this meant that millions of people carried around a very personal computer with them all day.
And then the App Store opened the next year — and then, on that one day, finding and downloading apps became easy and fun, and people talked about the cool apps and games they found. It became a topic on late-night talk shows, even.
For developers like us, who’d been writing Mac apps for years, the opportunity to make apps for such a tremendously larger market couldn’t have been more exciting — and it still is. We love making iOS apps!
It’s easy to take the whole thing for granted these days, but today it’s worth remembering how the App Store changed everything.
We shipped OmniFocus for iPhone on day one of the App Store, and it’s been there ever since. Our other apps have joined it. We’re all in — and now we’re looking forward to the next ten years, and many more.