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App Store 5th anniversary: What were your first purchases?

Happy 5th anniversary to the iOS App Store! When it launched on July 10, 2008, there were 500 apps available. Three days later, after the launch of the iPhone 3G, it had grown to 800 apps with 10 million downloads. As of April, it has paid out more than 9 billion to developers, and as of June there are more than 900,000 apps available in the App Store.

Now, we hop in our Wayback Machine to revisit our first purchases we made on the App Store, thanks to iTunes keeping a record of every purchase made. It's interesting to see what we got and what we still use.

Megan Lavey-Heaton

All of these were free apps. My first paid app purchase was OmniFocus for iPhone on July 14, 2008. I paid $19.99 for it and still use it from time to time.

Kelly Guimont

Two of my first apps no longer exist.

  • A Lightsaber app, which used to be a lightsaber that made noise based on the accelerometer. Other things have been added since, but I loved the plain version.
  • World 9, an app that just has a (NES) start button and makes Mario's jump noise. That's it.
  • Jared, by Freeverse. A silly app that I loved on my Mac, now for my iPhone!
  • More Cowbell! I still have this because occasionally I hand my phone to a young person and they love it.
  • Shazam, because having something in my pocket to tell me who sings that song is fab. (I've since moved on to Soundhound but I still use this a lot.)
  • Evernote because the idea of having stuff from my computer also in my pocket blew my mind five years ago.

I may have paid a couple of dollars here and there, but the first one I remember spending money on is OmniFocus for iPhone, just like Megan.

Kelly Hodgkins

My first iOS App Store downloads were all free apps, and I grabbed nine of them on that first day. They were a mixed bag of titles that included a music app, some games and, of course, a flashlight app. My first paid app was DigiDrummer, which is still in the App Store, but no longer being updated. Five years later and only Google Earth is still in use.

  • Google Earth: The world literally in your hand.
  • Four in a Row Free: Developed by Jon Schlegel. No longer in the App Store.
  • Trace: a casual game where you draw yourself through levels. No longer being updated.
  • Shazam: Have your phone identify the song playing on the radio by merely holding it near the source of the music. Revolutionary at the time.
  • Free Translator: Developed by Peter Homola. No longer in the App Store.
  • MiniPiano: A piano on your phone. Still in the App Store and last updated in May 2013 with a bug fix.
  • Flashlight.: Everyone with an iPhone needs a flashlight app and I picked this gem from John Haney. Still in the App Store and still being updated with new features.
  • Sol Free Solitaire: Don't play solitaire much anymore, but it was the thing to do back then. App is still available with a steady stream of updates over the past five years.
  • DigiDrummer Lite: Drum kits and a beat library to replace my Roland TR-808. Still in the App Store, but no longer being updated.

Erica Sadun

  • Light - Tested out the store by buying a copy. I still own it and use it.
  • Yelp, v1.0 - Still use, still love, and I'm pretty sure this was the second app I bought that wasn't something I needed to review for TUAW.
  • Koi Pond - Strictly speaking, I didn't buy this on day 1, but it was such a lovely little treat that showcased the iPhone's potential that I decided to drop it into my list.

Ilene Hoffman

It seems the only app I actually bought in 2008 was Peggle by PopCap games. It was for my iPod. Didn't buy anything else until 2009.

VIctor Agreda and Michael T. Rose

Both Victor and Mike had so many apps that they provided screenshots instead of a list.

Here's Victor's first apps:

App Store 5th anniversary What was your first purchase

And here's Mike's:

App Store 5th anniversary What was your first purchase

Steven Sande

Steve thinks he went a little nuts with apps the first couple of days ...

Chris Rawson

It wasn't until early April 2009 that Chris bought an app; iShoot was the first of many.

Richard Gaywood

Yoni Heisler

What were your first purchases?

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