I've always been of the mindset that halls of fame should matter. It should take time to qualify, so impact and importance can be weighed with the full context and clarity of history. It should also be limited, so that those who change the way we think and feel, who inspire and innovate, who challenge and redefine, get the recognition they deserve, rather than simply getting lost in yet another list.
It takes 25 years after the release of a debut recording to qualify for the rock and roll hall of fame. It takes 5 years after retirement to qualify for the baseball hall of fame. And in most cases, only a handful are inducted each year. Given that, we figured it should take 5 years after the release of an app to qualify for the iMore hall of fame, and that we'd likewise restrict ourselves to only a handful of inductees each year.
Of course, the iPhone only launched in 2007 and back then there wasn't even an official App Store. It also means, to meet our 5-year criteria, we had to way until now, and we have to consider only the initial, 2007, pre-App Store apps. And that's fitting.
Apple didn't initially support third-party apps or third-party app makers. That took until June of 2008 and iOS 2.0 (iPhone OS 2.0). Yet during that time, truly groundbreaking and trendsetting work was done by ingenious developers and designers. Using reverse engineering and jailbroken devices, they paved the way for much of what has come since, both from Apple and from the App Store.
We first started talking about an iMore hall of fame back in 2010, but we decided to wait and I'm glad we did. The people involved in the earliest of iOS apps did historic work, and they deserve historic recognition.
Starting tomorrow we'll be announcing our first inductees. If you were around at the beginning and marveled at (or even helped make) those first, pre-App Store apps, let me know what your favorites were, and who you would choose to honor, and why.
We're keeping the list really, really short, but we want to get it right.