In the beginning—2003 to be exact—there was the iTunes Music Store. Apple’s perfectly legal online emporium sold songs for 99 cents a pop and quickly became a hit itself. The premise and the promise were simple: inexpensive entertainment you could instantly download and use. Just a few years later, the renamed iTunes Store added (and still sells) TV shows, movies, and simple arcade-style video games for iPods. And then in 2008, Apple added the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch programs.
The App Store is where you download apps, or programs, that run on your iPhone, iPod Touch, and now, iPad. You can find thousands of apps, including foreign-language tutors, e-newspapers, restaurant guides, hurricane trackers, tiny word processors, and sophisticated handheld videogames, in the App Store, with developers writing new programs every week. It’s a hugely popular part of the Apple empire, with more than 10 billion apps downloaded as of January 2011.
With the iPad out for more than a year now, you can choose from more apps than ever—of the 350,000 apps that work on iOS devices, more than 60,000 were written just for the tablet. This chapter shows you how to get shopping by setting up an account in the store, buying and installing your first apps, and keeping them organized once you start loading up your ’Pad.
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