iTunes App Store First Take

July 10, 2008

Capture Lots of first takes coming out on the Apple App Store that just went live. Overall it appears cleanly laid out with sections for, "New", "What’s Hot", "Staff Favorites", and two top ten lists, "Top Apps" and "Top Free Apps".  I’m pleased to see the latter, though you will need to log into your account to download as they count all free apps as "Purchases" as well.  The devil will be in the details on whether Apple releases a stat in the weeks to come that they’ve had over N purchases from the store when most will likely be free.

Here are my three takeaways:

Apps want to be shared
In order for the app store to take off, they’re going to need users to visit, and often.  Apps aren’t like music – music is innately more viral a medium than, "Hey I just got this cool weather app". So the "Tell a Friend" feature while basic today, I would expect to start expanding out.  Who knows, perhaps legions of Facebook developers are working on a "Apps on my iPhone" app for Facebook profiles today…

I still can’t run any of these apps (yet)
Perhaps the 2.0 software release is imminent, but I can’t seem to find it yet.  So I’m happily downloading the software but can’t do anything with it. Sure to remedied soon, but goes against the traditional Apple grain of release it all at once.

Apple thinks my four-year old is old enough for an iPhone, shuns ESRB
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a standardized rating system for determining the age-appropriateness of video games.  Virtually everyone in the industry is a member and supports ESRB but it appears Apple’s app store is opting for a 4+, 9+, 12+, 17+ age rating system which also hints that Apple thinks your iPhone/iPod Touch is age-appropriate for a preschooler.  Suuuure.