The App Store is an online Apple Store, like iTunes, that allows users to download and/or buy software that runs on Apple devices running the iOS operating system. The App Store functions much like the iTunes Store, and is integrated with iTunes to deliver content to devices and for purchases. The same iTunes account used for iTunes purchases is used for the App Store.
Programs on the App Store are generally written by third-party developers (Apple offers a few of its own apps) and submitted to Apple for approval. Apple uses an extensive review process to check the apps for adherence to the company's guidelines and programming/content standards. If Apple approves the program for inclusion on the store, it is published to the site, where users can download/buy it.
Accessing the App Store
To access the App Store, users must either have iTunes installed or have an iOS device that includes the pre-loaded App Store app. In iTunes, the user should launch the program and then click the iTunes Store link in the left-hand tray. Once at the iTunes Store, the App Store is accessible by clicking the App Store navigation link. On iOS devices, users just need to tap the App Store app to visit the Store.
App Store Pricing
Programs cost anywhere from US$0.99-$999, with many programs being free. Most paid programs cost between $0.99 and $9.99, though free app probably make up the largest single price group on the Store.
App Store Compatibility
To use apps, you must have:
- An iOS device running iOS 2.0 or higher
- iTunes version 7.7 or higher
- Any model of iPhone
- Any moel of iPod touch
- Any model of iPad
It is, of course, always best to have the latest versions of hardware and software, when possible. This allows the greater access to the broadest range of apps. To use iOS 4 or newer, you need an iPhone 3GS or higher, 3rd gen. iPod touch or newer, or any iPad.
App Store History
The App Store debuted July 11, 2008, alongside the iPhone 3G. In March 2011, Apple said that over 350,000 apps were available in the App Store.