Don’t they grow up fast. Yes, the App Store is now a whopping 5 years old. That means it can now legally drink alcohol at home, whilst playing some apps, obviously. That being said, as history shows us, 5-year olds and apps really don’t mix. But enough of the silly jokes about bad parenting, let’s talk apps. At only 5 years old the App Store has over 900,000 individual apps on it and has a combined app download total of over 50 billion times. No matter which way you slice it, those are pretty impressive numbers.
What isn’t so impressive though are the stats about usage and zombie apps. Zombie apps really aren’t as exciting or as undead as they may sound (boo!). No, they’re the 90% of all apps on the App Store that get around 1 download per month. When you think that most of these will be free and that they can only manage (at best) 12 downloads a year, it really does show just how cluttered the App Store is and how hard it is to find apps. A key reason for the lack of downloads for many apps is that on average people use only 5 apps regularly on their phone.
So with the previous 5 years as evidence can we deem the App Store a success? Yes. Undoubtedly. To say it’s changed the way people access applications (or programs as Windows folk call them) is underselling the store. The ability to quickly and easily download software from a trusted source for a, usually, free or inexpensive amount is absolutely one of the biggest factors as to why smartphones and tablets have taken off so much. But I can’t also help feeling that it has reduced the value of good software, as less and less people feel like they have a duty to pay for it and support the developers, and for every success there are countless app makers that fail to launch.
To celebrate the anniversary Apple are giving away 5 free apps and games (there’s some pretty bloody good ones on there too) so I highly suggest you check them out, unless you use Android in which case they’re probably free anyway.