The Apple iPhone may not have won acclaim as the best smartphone on the market, but there is no question that the advent of the iPhone and iPod touch applications (or “apps”) has distinguished the iPhone and enhanced its capabilities. Apps, as they are referred to by any iPhone user, are used to describe the software distribution model Apple created to download programs onto any iPhone or iPod touch. The most common applications that users download tend to relate to music and games. If you are looking for something outside the realm of entertainment there are all sorts of apps that can help you in both your work and everyday life. Some example of these include a pocket translator, a currency converter, apps that help you invest in the stock market and keep you up to date on market activity, weather tools, a note organizer, all sorts of calculators, and anything else you keep possibly dream up. Anyone willing and able to learn and master the apple software can create and submit an application for Apple to approve. 70% of the revenue from the sale of the application goes to the creator and 30% goes to apple. Not all creators charge for their creation. Approval of an application is based on reliability testing and Apple does not allow entry of any app that duplicates a function of the iPhone itself or of iTunes. (For example an application that provides an e-mail interface).
The application store opened on July 10, 2008 and it has been estimated by Piper Jaffray, a U.S. middle market investment banking firm in Minneapolis, MN, that Apple will make $1 Billion in profits from the app store. There are virtually no operating expenses for apps, Apple just approves them. The top 10 Free Apps in 2008 have been the following: Google Earth mapping software, a mobile version of Facebook, and the games tap tap revenge, labyrinth life, lightsaber unleashed, and iPint. iPint simulates drinking a glass of beer using the motion sensing capabilities of the iPhone (and is not much of a “game”). Tap-Tap revenge the most popular free game download requires players to stay in rhythm with songs by tapping in time with the music. The top applications that cost money were: pocket guitar, cerebral challenge, Texas hold em poker, and an all radio program to stream online radio on your phone or iPod.
According to Information Week 300 millions applications have been downloaded since the stores inception to date. Additionally, CNBC’s Jim Goldman estimates that two million applications per day are downloaded. The popularity has not gone unnoticed by faltering retail stores. Just last month Target and The Gap launched applications for their stores. The Target application has a gift guide that allows you to enter the age and sex of your recipient and shows you gift options based on this. You can than purchase them directly or find the nearest store. The Gap has Christmas carol music videos featuring famous singers such as a Flo Rida “Jungle Bells” music video. You may also pick clothes to “try on” a computer imaged model. In 2006, the Time person of the year was “You”. While many thought this was a ridiculous notion, the popularity and opportunity that Apple offers for people to create and sell applications is just increasing our participation in the advance of the information age and our influence on it.