State of the Apps: 10,000 Now True, 300M Downloads Too, Icon Must-Do, And Promo Code How-To!

Apple has now hit the milestone 10,000th app in the iTunes App Store, and to celebrate, TapTapTap created the awesome icon tile artwork above (via TUAW), and what's more, CNBC (via iLounge) noted that Apple has snuck in some new ad copy claiming iPhone users have "downloaded over 300 million" apps.

Those numbers are simply staggering. As Steve Jobs recently, the adoption rate is beyond anything seen before in the industry. That the App Store is as unified, integrated, and easy as the iPhone platform itself is no doubt the driving factor.

But the question increasingly becomes, amid 10,000 apps, how do developers get more of those 300 million downloads for their apps?

Icon Factory co-founder and Frenzic designer Gedeon Maheux, on his gedblog, suggests that the app icon is an important place to start:

All too often icons are treated as second-class citizens, especially in the App Store. Lately, developers have taken to plastering “SALE” or “60% OFF!” within their icons. They’ve become lazy and let the iPhone software mar their design with glossy highlights which obscure efforts to brand their software. They use dull colors or pile on heaps of detail that just adds unwanted noise to an already cluttered array of choices. After the flashy ad pitches have faded, the icon still has to live on the user’s device and is often the first line of interaction with the product.

Another tool that may help is the new promo code system Apple has enabled for the (US-only so far) App Store. Erica Sadun provides a great iPhone promo code walk through over on Ars, explaining how to both give and receive, as well as some helpful hints for developers:

You can preview your Application. Once your App has been given a green light by Apple, the codes can be used—even before the release date you set in iTunes connect. Whenever your app is "Ready for Sale", Apple says you can offer free downloads. Setting a future date and releasing previews allows you to build your buzz before you go live in the App Store.

The scariest thing of all? It hasn't even been 6 months since the App Store launched (Dec. 17 will mark that anniversary). What will things look like in another 6?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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

State of the Apps: 10,000 Now True, 300M Downloads Too, Icon Must-Do, And Promo Code How-To!


So many of these apps are a waste of time! Makes me wish Apple went back to vetting the apps again. At a minimum, Apple needs to improve the App Store so that we can find the quality apps and ignore the garbage...

It would be nice to be able to sort apps by rating. That could also help developers of really good apps maintain some sales.

Low ratings from stupid people should be deleted.
For example, 4 or 5 star apps (which most users love), has a few retards post 1-star reviews such as: "This doesn't work! DON"T BUY IT!"
This has hurt MANY good apps' ratings, and it's unfortunate.

CORRECTION: I meant 4 or 5 star-"worthy" apps... that actually have 3 or less because of user stupidity.

There are a ton of apps that repeat themselves. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone would really want the alternative. The alternative being the "App Store That Contains Only What Apple Wants To Put In It, Really, We're Not Kidding, There Are Only 100 Apps"
However, there are so many To-Do applications in there that perhaps after a while, apps should be bumped off the store if they don't sell a certain amount? You could get them back, but you'd have to do something non-trivial. At least that way, over time, the store wouldn't clog up with a billion apps from four years ago that were developed by Some Guy to try and cash in quick and then ignored.
I think we all thought (or Apple thought) that they could make the App Store Different(tm) but at the same time, it's still a store and it's still going to have a ton of software products in it unless they pick and choose. If they only let 100 people in, Apple would be getting endless flack for being elitist/fascist/somethingist.

@ thekevinmonster : I agree with you wholeheartedly. We certainly don't want Apple policing the store like that. I like your idea about bumping apps of the store that haven't had any impact.
@Christopher Vitek : The problem with that is with new apps. They initially don't have any rating. So, they'd never get seen if you sorted them that way.

The CURRENT App Store already "Contains Only What Apple Wants To Put In," and they're putting in way too much. I want an Apple dictatorship in the App Store, policing quality control, functionality, and cleaner UIs like a gestapo (the black doom & gloom apps have to go!). They'd only accept apps with Apple styling and controls, and have a separate store for games and other worthless nonsense. Maybe even a hammer and sickle as the new App Store logo.
That's how Apple became what it is today; deciding what they "know" we want and need, and nailing it every time, while keeping out the ghetto crap. However, I fear now that so many Windows users are coming over that they're going to trash our neighborhood like they did their own.

I am not saying it should be the ONLY way to sort apps. You should also be able to sort them be release date, and by name. Just adding the other option. New apps will always appear first (by release date) so they get the benefit of that method of sorting.

Where does Apple actually come up 10,000 apps? Do the numbers beside the app catagories represent the number of apps in that category? I just don't see where there are over 10,000 actual apps! And I do agree that there are a lot of apps that should have never even made it to the app store.

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