A big App-etite: Apple now counts 100,000 applications in its store
It seems the whole world’s gone app happy.
Wednesday, Apple announced its Apps Store now features more than 100,000 applications. They range from services that name whatever tune is playing on the radio to less life-transforming fare, such as a digital beer mug that empties when you tilt back your phone.
“The milestone is great. But what does it really mean?” asked Chris Cunningham, the CEO of appssavvy, a direct sales team in the social media space representing apps developers.
“The true metric is how many of these are active, are being used.”
One thing is certain: Apps, which hardly registered just a year and a half ago, are now a vital part of the smart phone business. And makers from BlackBerry to Google’s Android are getting in on the action.
The true marvel, Cunningham said, is the social media revolution of which apps are a part.
“The phenomenon is probably one of the most exciting things we’ve seen since the Web started,” he said. “Where else can you go and find something that’s relevant just for you?”
The store even offers an app just for lovers of chicken wings. Kluckr Communications launched it last week for people who want to eat wings and interact with others who eat them.
With so many apps out there, some have certainly been relegated to irrelevance. AppsFire, which tracks apps activity, said on its Web site yesterday that more than half of the users download an app if it’s in the top five, but an app in the lower 99,000 hardly gets noticed.
That was the concern of Josh Welber, chief technology officer at Large Animal Games.
“One hundred thousand apps is awesome. It’s also a big challenge, it’s a very competitive space,” he said, especially in his field.
Games are the most downloaded apps. Large Animal has developed two games for the Apple Apps Store, but apps aren’t the company’s main draw.
The app craze has transformed the business, however, and now all games are developed with the potential for an app in mind, he said.
The apps also have been the latest get-rich-quick lure. They’re seen as so accessible, anyone can do it. Of course, developers have to go through Apple to get them approved.
Apple is notorious for its control of what is available through its store, as opposed to Google, whose Android Market is open to anyone.
Lara Serebrier Paul, 33, of Harlem, didn’t want to go back to real estate after having her first child. She hired a developer to create iKidNY, an app that points to kids-oriented activities.
She said she doesn’t know how much she’s made off the app, but she hasn’t looked for a new job yet.
“It’s ridiculous, people are like, ‘You’re working in technology,’ now,” she said.