10,000 Apps

December 1st, 2008

Apple is celebrating the benchmark of 10,000 shipping “apps” for the iPhone. If my scare quotes convey some negative connotation, then they’ve done their job. The vast majority of applications I’ve tried on the iPhone hardly deserve to celebrated.

I definitely do not think that sheer numbers are the story of the iPhone’s future, but if it makes some suits feel better about the device, then I’ll join in the cheers. 10,000 individual products for sale or free download definitely indicates a high degree of interest.

The guys at Tap Tap Tap have taken the opportunity to put together a remarkable poster-sized graphic of the icons from these 10,000 apps, arranged so as to look like a photo of an iPhone:

I think this was a really cool idea, even with a dubious point of celebration. For many of these apps, their presence in this poster is the most attractive they’ll ever be.

14 Responses to “10,000 Apps”

  1. corbin Says:

    super cool; i would have missed that if you hadn’t posted it. thanks!

  2. Tom Mahoney Says:

    According to the latest Macworld that arrived on my desk this morning, part of the problem is that Apple is rushing to approve new apps for the App store and dragging their heels on approving updates to the existing products.

    That could make for some “iffy” stuff.

  3. Conor Says:

    “of the icons from these 10,000 apps” makes it sound as if they used all app icons (I went looking for Pocketpedia, sadly it’s not there). Only a sub section of applications where used and they repeat. It would have been more impressive had they used all 10,000 icons — they had the number of “app pixel” available.

  4. Joost de Valk Says:

    So, Daniel, when is your first iPhone app coming? :)

  5. John Casasanta Says:


    While I do appreciate the link, shouldn’t people who live in glass houses not throw stones?

    With all due respect, doesn’t your app, Shush, fall into the same category of apps that you’re ranting about here?

    I’m making this point because I’ve actually been disappointed with what most long-time Mac devs have come up with so far for the iPhone. Granted, some have stepped up to the plate (Pangea and Freeverse seem to be the highest profile) but most seem to be overshadowed by newcomers. I was expecting a lot more from the devs who’ve made a name for themselves in the Mac world to have some impact in the App Store by now.

    John Casasanta
    tap tap tap… MacHeist… long-time Mac dev

  6. Seconded Says:

    I feel I must second that opinion. The general jabs at the several Tip Calculators and Flashlights were pretty well founded, but just an overall condescension at little developers making stupid little apps is getting old, fast. Especially from those who… purchased their main foray.

    If this is the nice, open, friendly community I’ve been led to think it is, these new apps should be embraced, improvements suggested, their developers welcomed…

  7. Peter Says:

    I guess the original comment must have been cut, but I assume it was something to effect of, “Wow! That’s a lot of tip calculators and flashlights!”

    I have nothing against those sorts of apps. However, where I would feel a bit snarky is that if I bring up, say, Android, everyone will talk about the 10,000 apps available compared with the significantly smaller number of apps available for Android.

    However, if I bring up the fact that there are more Windows apps than Mac apps, I’ll get an earful about how that doesn’t really matter and that Mac apps are somehow better than their Windows counterparts.

    In other words, the fact that, say, half the applications in the iTunes App Store are useless is unimportant. The fact that half the applications for Windows are useless is important, though.

  8. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    John & Seconded:

    It’s a provocative point. Shush is not the flashiest app, or one that best highlights the variety of things that is possible with the phone. But it achieves what I set out to do, which is “generate white noise with a minimum of UI complexity and without using long recorded loops.”

    It’s certainly fair to question whether my app is “one of the crap apps,” but of course from my own perspective, it isn’t. It does something useful and satisfies requirements that no other app does.

    I find that many apps on the store don’t achieve even that.

    I accept your points, that perhaps my negative attitude about it isn’t helping anybody. Also, it’s certainly possible that my criticisms of a majority of apps on the store is not shared by the typical iPhone user.


  9. Phillip Ryu Says:

    I’m starting to think the real problem here is how browsing is set up on the store. For now, I think the two main ways people really hear about and find apps are charting and price drop sites (to a lesser degree).

    Other than that, unless you know exactly what you are looking for, it’s nearly impossible to find, and it doesn’t help that there is indeed a lot of static from mediocre apps. Let’s hope Apple has something up their sleeves.

  10. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Phillip: yeah, I was thinking, reflecting on what John & Seconded had to say, and I had to admit that even though my impression of the apps is overall very poor, I haven’t had the opportunity to sample more than a small sample of the apps.

    So I guess part of the problem is indeed the mediocre noise you allude to (I take issue to the word “static” in light of criticism of my Shush app ;) ), and in particular how it’s not being balanced by any mechanism other than the relatively tiny “top apps” section which tends to remain pretty, umm … static over time.

  11. Phillip Ryu Says:

    Haha, whoops, the static mention was accidental. :P I’m a little bit too young to be in the market for a baby shushing app, but hey, nothing against it personally, it can certainly be useful for its target audience.

    But yes, for now the top 100 is directly correlated to exposure and sales, and it’s not growing, while the number of apps is, so this situation is in my opinion slowly unraveling. (100/~7500 paid apps now is 1.3% of all apps. That compares to August, when it was more like 100/1000 paid apps, aka 10%. That’s a pretty astounding change in just a few short months.

    I really don’t know what could be done though, beyond direct intervention from above.

  12. Partners in Grime Says:

    There are already some amazing apps out there … I expect apps to get better as time progresses.

  13. Doug Penny Says:

    Hi Daniel,
    Do you have a link to an official announcement from Apple stating the 10,000 app milestone? I have searched their site and have not been able to find a press release. The only place I can find it discussed is on the third-party app tracking sites.

    Also, I wrote one of the tip calculators and I’m not offended by the jabs. Although it was not approved before launch day, it was submitted several weeks before. Seeing how saturated the market is now, I would question why someone would submit a new tip calculator (or flashlight) at this point. BTW, I’ve got another app coming that is NOT a flashlight!

  14. 10KiPA Says:

    Another visualization of all of the iPhone apps!


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