Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Angry Birds celebrates third birthday, reminding us that app development is still in its adolescent stage

It may seem strange that TNM would write about Angry Birds, one of the most popular, widely-known apps for mobile devices. But this is the third birthday of the app, so its update today is a great reminder that no matter how far it appears we have come regarding the mobile and tablet platforms, we are still in the early days of this business.

Most media observers point to the introduction of the original iPhone as the day the mobile (and later tablet) platform was born. But that isn't precisely true. Yes, Steve Jobs did introduce a revolutionary new cell phone. And yes, his boast that Apple was reinventing the phone was, for the most part, accurate.

But the original iPhone was expensive, slow, and most importantly, devoid of third party apps. Whatever Apple gave you when you bought your original iPhone you were stuck with until Apple decided to give you something more. Those maps were not a Google app, but an Apple app using Google data.
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All during the summer and early fall of 2007 the hacker community got hard at work to jailbreak the iPhone and build its own app world. Finally Apple announced that fall that third party apps would be coming, and the iPhone SDK was officially released on March 6, 2008. For developers, that was the beginning of the real revolution.

That is also why, when you count back three years, you discover that Angry Birds didn't arrive until much later than you might remember – it seems like it has been around forever.

Of course, this fact won't stop some tech writers from proclaiming that media apps are horrible, or have no value. OK, let them, but let's stop calling these guys journalists and start calling them "analysts" – we all know how accurate that crowd is – not only will that annoy these writers but it will reveal to everyone that they are just guessing.

If you wouldn't come to final conclusions about your three year old kid, it is probably a good idea to not come to final conclusions about a new platform either. Those of us who are advocates for the new digital media platforms see the potential in them, but should not be naive enough to come to too many conclusions just yet. We are in the early days, and that means we are lucky to be witnessing something very interesting and potentially wonderful.

1 Comment:

Definition of Smartphone said...

Angry Birds is my favorite app for sure. Very addictive even when I am at work I need to play it. I also have the pc version :-)