The Apple App Store recently celebrated its ninth birthday, following its initial 500 apps release on July 10, 2008, a year after the first iPhone. The store hasn’t changed much since its launch, but Apple is planning a complete overhaul of its now 2.2 million games and an apps digital storefront with the iOS 11 release later this year. While the look of the digital store has changed little, the apps that they display have completely changed the way we live and work in a mobile world.
Let’s take a look back at how the Apple App Store has changed the enterprise in nine years:
The App Store Has Created Enterprise Jobs
Apple claims to have helped create almost two million jobs in engineering, supply chain, retail and development since the iPhone release in 2007. Most recent data has found that there are 2.8 million developers focusing on Apple iOS alone. Since the App Store’s 2008 release, Apple has paid developers over $70 billion, and this number will only continue to grow in the years to come as App Store downloads have grown 70 percent.
The iOS SDK Changed the Way Developers Work
Prior to the iPhone’s initial unveiling in 2007, then-CEO Steve Jobs did not intend to let third-party developers create native apps for iOS, instead directing them to make web-based applications for the Safari web browser. The extensive backlash led to a change, with the first Apple software development kits becoming available by March 2008, four months prior to the App Store’s launch.
Third-party developers can now access Apple hardware and software attributes while developing mobile apps and use an iPhone simulator to mimic the look and feel of the device while working on their desktop. The iOS SDK also gives developers the ability to write code in common Xcode, Swift and Objective-C programming languages.
Enterprises Have Used the Apple App Store As An Example For Their Own Stores
While Apple’s Mobile App Store was originally designed with the consumer in mind, the Enterprise App Store gives companies the ability to publish in-house apps to their employees. Further, as businesses embrace mobility in the workplace and begin deploying multiple apps to their users, IT departments have found it more sufficient to create their own corporate app stores that can host in-house apps and direct users to public apps in one place, leading to easier distribution. Many organizations have also found better app adoption by employees and clients when they have their own corporate stores.
The Apple App Store Has Improved Beta Testing Processes Internally
Apple requires all developers to submit their apps for approval before they can be published on the App Store. These tests check for reliability and perform as expected and usually takes five to ten days to complete. To ensure the quickest turnaround, enterprise IT departments are encouraged to do quality check across all devices, ensure security precautions and follow Apple’s strict adherence guidelines. While this may seem daunting for IT and developers, it has led to fewer problems post-app launch as opposed to Google, which does not require approvals prior to publishing an app.
Apple and The Enterprise – A Growing Relationship
Originally, Apple had no plans to dive into the enterprise space when deploying the iPhone and App Store, with most apps being consumer focused. However, in recent years, Apple has announced partnerships with large enterprise alliances such as IBM, Cisco, and SAP to forge the development of custom business apps.
Apps Have Led to Unlimited Opportunities
The iPhone launch in 2007 may have changed the way we communicate, but apps have been the true catalyst of change, giving users unlimited capabilities and opportunities to make life and business more entertaining and more productive. With apps, users can now swipe their credit cards, scan barcodes, create organized to-do lists and more, all installed in seconds.
To combat complexities that enterprise IT faces when implementing business apps that provide the same consumer like experiences, many are now turning to mobile app development solutions such as rapid mobile app development (RMAD) to easily design and deploy business apps for iOS.
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