With nearly 215,000 apps spanning twenty major categories, it is easy to have forgotten about those apps that first graced the App Store when it opened on July 10, 2008. Below is a look at the twenty-seven apps that were available when the App Store unlocked its doors for business. (Note: This list was derived from examining current apps in App Store and it is possible some apps available on July 10, 2008 have since been removed)
1. Alarm Free (Utilities): Emergency and free fall alarm.
2. BlackJack Helper (Entertainment): Same as BlackJack Helper – Large Version but without a smaller and harder to see grid.
3. BlackJack Helper – Large Version (Entertainment): Statistical grid to help decide when to hit or stay.
4. Bounce (Games): Space-themed bouncing game.
5. Carrom (Games): Traditional carrom disc game.
6. Chores (Productivity): To do list.
7. Drummer (Music): Various drums to pounce.
8. Gengou Free (Productivity): Guide to Japanese era system.
9. goCow (Entertainment): A cow who bounces, flips and moos.
10. Holidays Sound Machine (Entertainment): Holiday sound effects.
11. iAntz (Games): Help ants stay alive game.
12. Match It (Entertainment): Matching square memory game.
13. Moo (Entertainment): Moo box sound effects.
14. Mr. Shuffle (Entertainment): Interactive toy face maker.
15. My Info (Utilities): iDevice owner’s information.
16. NearPics (Photograph): View pictures taken by others near you.
17. picocalc free (Productivity): Calculator.
18. Rallye Timer (Sports): Racing car timer.
19. Reel Deal Blackjack (Games): Blackjack card playing.
20. Reel Deal Texas Hold’Em (Games): Texas Hold’Em card playing.
21. Reel Deal Video Poker (Games): Video poker.
22. Shateki (Games): Target shooting.
23. Super Jong (Games): Mahjong.
24. TapTheBeatFree (Music): Beat per minute/time counter.
25. Touch Train (Productivity): Assesses accuracy of touching bull’s-eye target.
26. Trigger (Education): A trigonometry aide.
27. Wordy (Reference): Word of the day.
Not surprisingly eight of the twenty-seven apps, nearly 30%, are games, a category that continues to dominate the App Store to this day. It is a shame none of these pioneering apps achieved significant success but we can learn something about the paradigm shifting nature of the iPhone by looking at some of the above-referenced apps.
Touch Train, for example, is an app designed to help people accurately touch the iPhone’s screen by providing a bull’s-eye target with a single white pixel dead center. The goal is to practice touching the screen until the user can consistently get within 10 pixels of the white pixel. Nowadays accurately touching smartphone screens is second nature but we were all rookies back when the App Store opened.
The iPhone, apps and their tens of millions of users all around the world have come a long way since the days of apps like Touch Train. With the introduction of the iPad and impressive operating system upgrades there is no doubt we will reflect back upon today’s apps and marvel at the strides made in such a short period of time when the App Store celebrates its third year anniversary.