history of mobile apps

A Mobile Application, most commonly referred to as an “App” is a software that can be run on smart devices, such as phones, tablets and even watches. Apps have changed the way we live, work and play. We use them everyday to; order a take away, chat with friends and family, pay bills and many more everyday tasks. We are spending considerably more and more time on our mobiles than our desktops making mobile apps increasingly popular.

Here’s a brief history of Mobile Apps.

Before Apple and Android the first ever mobile that had apps on was the “IBM Simon” which was released in 1994. There was no app store, but the phone did come installed with apps (known as “features” in 1994); Address Book, Calculator, Calendar, Mail, Note Pad and Sketch Pad.

Apple & Android

Then came along Apple. They realised their first smartphone in 2007, which again only came with pre-installed apps and no app store. Just a year later in 2008 the Apple App store was released, which changed the game as it supported third-party applications. The App Store opened with just 500 apps, and today there are over 2.2 million apps available for download.

Android realised their first smartphone in 2008 (The HTC Dream also known as the T-Mobile G1). Between 2008 and 2011 Android launched Android Market, Google eBookstore and Google Music. Later in 2012 they merged all these platforms, to what we know today; “Google Play”.

Facebook has been the leading app for many years but according to uk.business.insider.com the most downloaded app in 2018 was Tik Tok. “In the first quarter of 2018, the app was downloaded an estimated 45.8 million times.” Followed by YouTube (35.3m), WhatsApp (33.8m), Messenger (31.3m), Instagram (31m) and Facebook at 29.4 million downloads in the first three months of 2018.

Apps went crazy

Apps became very popular very quick. “The App Store is a grand slam, with a staggering 10 million applications downloaded in just three days,” said Steve Jobs.

  • The word “App” won Word of the Year in 2010.
  • The well know app Angry Birds went beyond mobile and released a film in 2016.
  • Apps started buying apps, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.
  • Apple realised the Apple Watch in 2016.
  • We can control our homes with Apps, turn the lights on and off, turn the heating up and down and even check you’ve locked the door.

This is just the start, all this has happened in just 24 years, imagine where we will be in 50 years!

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