Science Fair

The History of Mobile Apps

Technology is breathtaking and takes us by surprise often. Not everybody has the vision that entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs had back in the '80s. He knew what was possible, and he didn't stop trying until he managed to build what the rest of us couldn't even fathom.

Mobile apps have come a long way since the first game on the Nokia 6610.

It's not only the graphic capabilities on that small little screen that's impressive, but the connectivity, social connectivity and participation, and the layers of information you tap into that are genuinely mind-boggling.

The variety of mobile apps that are available today covers every topic and need a person might have. You can order and pay for your dinner with the click of a button and at the same time buy some Bitcoins on a forex trading app.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and look at the history of mobile apps.

Where Did it All Start?

When we talk about mobile apps, it excludes phone features such as calculators, calendars, and alarms that saw the light in the '90s on the Nokia 6110. In 1997 when the 6110 launched with the 'Snake' arcade game, mobile apps jumped into existence.

Mobile apps as we know and love them today are a relatively new invention. It was only with the release of smartphones that apps also became, well, smarter.

Many will say that irrespective of who built the first smartphone app, Steve Jobs' vision of the Apple app store drove this industry into existence.

The first iPod released had Solitaire and Brick games built-in.

The Launch of the App Store

The iTunes store launched shortly after the iPod. It was the best music revolution since Woodstock. Everybody wanted it, and it was the ultimate birthday or Christmas gift for teenagers and parents alike.

iTunes was a foretaste of what was to come with the Apple App Store. In 2007, the iPhone hit the market, and it was the perfect platform for creating native apps. The App Store launched the next year in 2008, and mobile apps became a household name.

There's no way of marking one specific mobile app as the first-ever. The first version of the Apple App Store had 500 apps, making it difficult to say which one was the original. They all hit the market simultaneously.

The Rest Follows the Pursuit

The rest of the IT giants followed close on the inventors' heels, and the world as we knew it changed irrevocably. Soon, everybody was browsing the Amazon App Store, Google Play, and Blackberry's App World.

Fortunately, all developers realized that to grab a more significant portion of this highly competitive market, they had to offer free apps. Most offered entry-level versions free of charge with premium versions with more features, at a price.


It's difficult to remember a time when everything wasn't available at the touch of a button, but in reality, it's just over a decade ago. Technology advances rapidly, and you have to keep up to date with all the inventions to benefit.

Reading tech magazines and blogs from the frontline is an excellent way to stay on top of everything new.

5 Feb 2021