July 10, 2013 marked the fifth anniversary of Apple's App Store. To say that the App Store revolutionized the way we interact with our mobile devices would be an understatement. The sheer size of the App Store today demonstrates that it has indeed taken on a life of its own, creating an entire economy unto itself.
Today, there are over 900,000 apps in the App Store, with over 50 billion apps having been downloaded to date. Even more impressive is that Apple has paid out over $10 billion to developers thus far.
Over the last five years, the App Store has of course had its fair share of controversy. From apps that were inexplicably banned to apps that were curiously let in, Apple initially struggled to curate the App Store in a fair and transparent manner.
But over time, Apple became a tad more open about its app rejection policies, and these days, it seems that Apple, by and large, has gotten things under control.
Ever since Apple first released the iOS SDK, developers have not only pushed the platform beyond what many thought was possible, but they also influenced the way mobile apps were developed, marketed, and most importantly, used by the masses.
With that in mind, FastCompany this past week took a look at eight iOS developers who helped revolutionize the App Store.
Though the list is in no particular order, it's somewhat fitting that Loren Brichter is the first entry. Brichter, a former Apple employee who helped work on the original iPhone, was the man behind Tweetie, an immensely popular Twitter client for iOS that was eventually bought out by Twitter.
A number of Brichter's UI innovations have since become common in the mobile app space.
It's natural to reach your thumb to the top of your phone's screen and pull down to refresh the page, even now part of Apple's core apps. It was Brichter, though, that designed that feature, implementing it in one of Tweetie's updates.... the pull-to-refresh gesture took on a life of its own...
Also listed is Steve Demeter, a name that may sound familiar because he was one of the first App Store success stories. Demeter famously made $250,000 in just two months with his app Trism. Apple even featured Demeter in one of its promotional videos shown at WWDC some years ago.
The success and wild profitability of Trism, not to mention the fact that the app was the result of a lone and independent developer, really drove home the notion that there was a lot of money to be made in mobile apps. A lot of it. More importantly, it demonstrated that a single developer could really make some serious cash with a smart idea and effective execution.
The entire list is worth a read and includes notable names such as Mike Matas and Kevin Systrom, along with other folks who may not be as familiar but who have been behind apps you have likely downloaded and used.