Apple’s App Store turns five and digital gaming has been changed forever

Yes, it’s been that long. On Wednesday, Apple’s App Store, which fundamentally changed the way you viewed your smartphone, celebrated its fifth birthday. It did so in style, with Apple handing out a handful of free apps (good ones, too, so you might want to check it out). And why not? That day on July 10, 2008, hardly seemed like a landmark moment at the time, but it completely redefined everything from smartphones to video games. It was on that day that a revolution began, that the smartphone began a surprising charge past the Game Boys and PSPs of the world, and that discs headed towards redundancy. Apple started it all, and there’s no better time to consider this than on the App Store’s fifth anniversary. You can’t tell this success story in sheer numbers, even if the numbers are massive. In the last five years, more than 50 billion apps have been downloaded and more than 900,000 programs are available. According to Apple, more than $10 billion has been paid out to developers as of last month. Six billion dollars of those riches have been paid out since January of last year, a testament to how the App Store completely exploded in 2012. But if you really want to understand the impact of the App Store, you need to look past all the big numbers, look at the world of video games, the rollercoaster launch of Windows 8, and the simple way that you use your phone. The App… [Read full story]

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