Today’s a big day for app developers.
In the lead-up to today’s event, I spent some time digging through my old purchases. After launching the App Store app, tap on your profile in the upper-right corner, then tap on the Purchased menu of your account page. After spending a few hours scrolling down, you’ll see your first apps!
One of the apps was something called “Carling Tap” – and I had no recollection of anything by that name. A little bit of research helped me remember that the app was formerly named “iBeer”. This hiccup with the name not only paused my scrolling: it also got me thinking about the importance of this early app.
Many of the apps on that first day, including my work with Twitterrific, were adaptations of desktop apps. Things like AIM, NetNewsWire, and Solitaire had many advantages on mobile, but in retrospect, they weren’t a sign of what lay ahead.
Even though it was a gag, iBeer gave us a real glimpse of our future. It was the first app that was spatial. The function of the app was determined by where it was in your world. It could not exist without you.
Since then we’ve seen many other apps take advantage of this unique characteristic of mobile devices. Ocarina made it beautiful. Ride sharing leveraged it for efficiency. Pokémon GO made it fun and communal.