Apple’s App Store is now over two weeks old, and I have to say that overall I’m impressed with the variety of applications available for download. In the first three days of the launch over 10 million downloads were served up by Apple, and in the first 10 days that number increased to over 25 million downloads. No matter which way you slice it they’re averaging millions of downloads each day.
There were a lot of people who weren’t too happy about Apple’s distribution system particularly because they take 30% of any paid application. Right now games seem to be dominating the paid program arena (only 3 out of the top 10 paid apps are not games). Sega has even said that they expect to sell over 1 million downloads of their famous Super Monkey Ball game for the iPhone, which is a milestone the free Facebook app has already reached. Considering that Super Monkey Ball sells for $9.99 that would put $7 million in Sega’s pocket and a cool $3 million in Apple’s pocket.
The only problem I still see with the App Store is the long wait period for updates to get published. Since Apple has to manually review each update it can take a little while for a new version to show up. I recently contacted Brent Simmons, the developer of the NetNewsWire app for the iPhone, who uploaded three new updates over approximately two weeks before getting the first one published:
My first update (1.0.1) was uploaded before the App Store went live. I don’t recall exactly when 1.0.2 was uploaded, but it was within 2-3 days after the App Store went live. 1.0.7 was uploaded about 4-5 days after that.
Luckily when Apple got around to approving the updated version of NetNewsWire they skipped right to the latest release that Brent had uploaded.
I have to say that I was skeptical about the App Store being hosted in iTunes initially, but now I’ve actually come to appreciate it. It serves as the one-stop source for iPhone and iPod Touch app downloads, and prevents you from having to search all over the Internet for great programs or games. Not to mention the fact that it takes just a single click to see if a newer version of an app is available.
Next week we’ll be highlighting both our favorite free and paid apps that we’ve been experimenting with, so keep your eyes peeled for that post.