Chapter 10. All About Apps

App is short for application, meaning software program, and the App Store is a single, centralized catalog of every authorized iPhone app in the world. In fact, it’s the only place where you can get new programs (at least without hacking your phone).

You hear people talk about the downsides to this approach: Apple is stifling the competition; Apple is taking a 30 percent cut of every program sold; Apple is maintaining veto power over apps it doesn’t like.

But there are some huge benefits, too. First, there’s one central place to look for apps. Second, Apple checks out every program to make sure it’s decent and runs decently. Third, the store is beautifully integrated with the iPhone itself.

There’s an incredible wealth of software in the App Store. These programs can turn the iPhone into a pocket internet radio, a medical reference, a musical keyboard, a time and expense tracker, a TV remote control, a photo editor, a recipe box, a tip calculator, a restaurant finder, a teleprompter, and on and on. And games—thousands of dazzling handheld games, some with smooth 3D graphics and tilt control.

It’s so much stuff—3.5 million apps, hundreds of billions of downloads—that the challenge is just finding your way through it. Thank goodness for those Most Popular lists.

Getting New Apps

To check out the App Store, tap the App Store icon on your phone. You arrive at the colorful, scrolling wonder of the store itself.

NOTE

Until 2017, you could shop the App Store, ...

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