Appy Anniversary: One Year and How Many of those 56,000 Apps Later?


TiPb will be back tomorrow with our Picks of the Year, and Editors' Choice in honor of Apple's iTunes App Store one year birthday -- and yes, we're really calling it our Appy Anniversary coverage.

1 billion+ downloads and 56,000+ apps are the figures, but just how many of those downloaded apps have made it onto your iPhone or iPod touch?

Barely an extra screen worth, more than the expanded 180 even iPhone 3.0 allows, or $143K and change for the whole shebang? How many does iTunes show, and how many are actually on your device?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Appy Anniversary: One Year and How Many of those 56,000 Apps Later?


About half of these apps are just pure crap.
And itunes does not even show less than half of them so how would one search throught 56k ? Unless you know the apps name you will never find it ?

After thinking about the whole anniversary and over 1 billion app sold, I'm beginning to think that maybe having limited number of apps is actually more efficient.
Now, the reason for other companies not having as many apps also factors in with not having sold as much devices and remember that iPod touch can use these apps too.
Nonetheless, maybe it's not a bad thing to see fewer apps after seeing the crap that can be put on there as well.
By no means, I'm saying all apps are crap, the ones on my phone I obviously love and use but I know I'm not alone when I say there is more crap than useful products in the store.
There really has to be a way to weed these things out. Apple did boast that most of their apps get approved in a week or something and quiet possibly, this was for the worse.

My old Blackberry Curve would never connect to my Linksys router if I had it set to dual G/N. I had to lock it on G for it to even find the network. It might be a router issue. HMMMMMM...

I agree. There are more crApps than apps. Apple really needs to fix the store. The music store model just doesn't work. Categories only help so much. I've had an iPhone since December 08 and I know I've only skimmed the surface of the store. I have 5 pages of apps, but one of those screens is filled with only home screen links.

The current apps that made it on my iPhone are:

  1. NetNewswire
  2. Facebook
  3. MLB At Bat
  4. Tweetie
  5. Beejive
  6. Gas Cubby
  7. Remote
  8. Bible
  9. City Transit
  10. Fandango
  11. Flight Control
  12. Kindle
  13. Wiki Mobile
  14. Splash ID
  15. Weightbot
  16. Things

You can say all that you want about the App store, but at the end, it's only as useful as the apps YOU decide to purchase. Plus, Good and excellent apps always get their day to shine on sites like these.
Oh, and remember, we vote with our purchase (or downloads), so clearly there is a market for fart apps. Go figure!

@ Moe
You are definitely correct on us having choices and votes, but filtering them out is quiet tiresome.

I really enjoy the App store but Apple needs to find a way to get rid of the junk while opening up their OS so we can get apps like Opera and Skyfire.

@Dmys Would you be happy with a "Genius" system for apps? I mean, there are categories, ratings, recent, popular. What else can they do to filter out apps?

First, the stats:
--In iTunes, I have 112 apps.
--On my iPhone, I have 79 (not including webapps and about 25 that come with the phone)
As for shopping for apps, I use,, forums, etc to find apps. iTunes does not separate them well.
I gave a company presentation yesterday focused on better utilizing the iPhone for business, but I threw a few personal items in there. Here are the cheat sheets I distributed for apps (poorly done about 15 minutes before the presentation): and
They are just photoshop'd screen shots from iTunes with boxes indicating if they are a worthwhile app. I'm sure some will disagree with my opinions on them, but that's why they are just opinions. :)

There are 2 categories of crappy application by definition.
In MY view, crappy apps such as "fart noise" level apps, and there are apps that are crappy to me because I would never use it but some might.
In your list there are things I would consider crap to me because I would personally never use it, but that doesn't make it just crap.
I'm talking about filtering out idiotic applications. I unfortunately do not have the answer for "better filtering", and if I think of one, I would definitely write them a letter. But I think they can do way better.
Far as Genius system for apps, that would work for some but not for me because I go through app extensively before making a purchase and would probably not want to replace it unless the current version fails on me.
What I want is taking that extensiveness out of the search. I don't trust the ratings because I've been burned by it, recent doesn't matter because there are old apps that are better than new ones, and popular is not always popular with everyone.
It's a lot to ask but I want it done.

I could careless if there are billion fart apps out there. At the end of the day, my iPhone has 30+ useful apps (obviously useful to me) and there is not a single app I need that is missing from the store.
In other words, useful apps with a huge variety of functionality are all over the store. I don't care if they released a dozen useless crap to please the "Apple should not reject anything" crowd.

Besides, I owned every other platform for at least 2 years. Apple did in fact change the way people look at mobile apps, both from user and developer points of view. The experience is unbeatable.
And that goes for the iPhone itself imho. Yes, there are few features missing blah blah, give me an equivalent "experience" without those missing features and then we will talk.

Oh good post the only thing is that there aren't that many useful apps and the useful apps are limited by Apple's SDK and lack of multitasking. Hopefully, that will be remedied in the future.

@Dmys That's fair and I agree with you. Everyone has a different taste of what a quality app is. As you stated, I'm just not sure what else can be done with so many apps available to make them "visible". That's the price we pay when there are 56,000 apps in the store. I thought that by year 1, all those fart apps would disappear, but apparently people want them and like them.
I actually depend more on blog reviews than I do on the Apple's own app store. I think the answer lies in the community. Would you like to share the apps that made it to your home screen(s)? This way, you share what your perspective is of a good app. When we build a community of users of excellent apps, we may be able to filter out the junk. Of course, we can't all agree on what is a good app, since, it really is by choice.

@Truth: I read multiple times your posts saying that the iPhone lacks useful apps. Can u plz provide an example of a useful app that’s not on the iPhone? (yes, I agree with multitasking but that’s another issue).
The way I see it, I have a document editor (its lacking PowerPoint but that should be a matter of time), ftp client, VNC client, Bonjure document viewer (plus remote viewing and downloading of files to the phone), Twitter client, Evernote (do I need to say much?), offline dictionary, voice dialing an searching (through vlingo and others), Skype, multiple options of IM solutions, TV guide, few games, and those are only what is important to me. Now on the other hand, I can assure you that some of the other platforms are missing some of these apps above.
I'm not trying to put u on the spot, but I really want to know what's a useful app in your opinion. Maybe I'm on a different page totally.

With many apps being "****" as RichXPS noted, it begs the question, "Who is driving the development?" It seems that a lot of apps are being developed purely by developers without much insight from marketing. The problem there is that it seems many marketers haven't learned enough about the potential of the technology to actually propose applications to the developers. It will be interesting to see how this evolves.