It's been almost four years since Apple debuted its App Store platform for iOS (and then the Mac), and MacStories has an in-depth look back at that time. In just four short years, Apple has gone from saying that all we'd need on iOS are web apps, to a millions of dollars a year industry that supports almost half a million jobs. Needless to say, that's phenomenal growth.
But what's most interesting about the growth of the App Store is how the apps themselves have changed. MacStories writes about that initial push -- in those early days, the quality of the software was very low, and there were a lot of "speculators," for lack of a better term: Developers who just released quick and dirty apps (honestly, fart apps is what most of them were) to try and make a little bit of money. App branding, too, has come a long way. In the early days it was all about search and gaming the system, and these days, there are more ways to find good apps than ever.
At the same time, it's also harder for developers to make their mark in an increasingly crowded market. Apple's own success may be its biggest problem. The App Store has grown in a huge way over the past four years, and that may make it harder for both developers and Apple to figure out how to best run it going forward.