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What National Day Is Today?


Today is National App Day.

On this day we celebrate the importance of apps and the way they change our collective culture by organically promoting creativity and innovation.

When Steve Jobs opened the App Store in 2008 how many apps were available?

At the launch of the App Store, users had the choice of 500 applications to download and enjoy but fast forward to 2014, and there was a library of over 1 million titles.

Here at Phonecruncher, we decided to take a look at some of Apple’s first releases on the App Store to see how they’ve held up.

Super Monkey Ball

Developer – Sega

2008’s Approximate Price – £5.99

Today’s Price – 69p

Last Updated – June 2009

Super Monkey Ball offers players over 100 vibrant stages to roll their way through.

The first developer to address the audience at the WWDC event was Sega, with producer Ethan Einhorn showcasing Super Monkey Ball, arguably the first game to entirely make use of the iPhone’s tilt controls.

Einhorn boasted that the game featured ‘all 4 of the classic Monkey’s’ included in previous games in the series on the N-gage (Remember that?) and Windows.

The Sega producer boasted: “We’re showing you the last world, Space Case. The reason we’re doing that is that it’s a terrific opportunity to demonstrate just how well the tilt controls can keep up with the game’s most difficult challenges.”

Super Monkey Ball, which quickly rose to the top of Apple’s ‘Top Paid’ list all those years ago, is still in the App Store today at a price of 69p. It hasn’t received an official update in four years and can’t be found anywhere near the top of the charts now, but the gameplay still holds up well, and it’s undeniably fun.


Developer – Ebay Inc.

2008’s Price – Free

Today’s Price – Free

Last Updated – April 2014

This old photo from the archives shows the earliest version of Ebay’s mobile app.

Following the ongoing success of its website, it seemed only right that eBay took their services to Apple’s iPhone.

WWDC served as the perfect way for the shopping group to reveal its mobile equivalent, and product manager Ken Sun demoed the application live.

The eBay spokesman was quick to boast about the company’s success with Apple’s platform, telling the crowd: “The iPhone has quickly become the number one device for access on eBay.”

“Hands down, [the iPhone] is the most feature-rich platform going,” he added.

Now, in 2014, the eBay application continues to remain popular amongst mobile bidders, with regular updates and positive reviews cementing the app’s popularity on the App Store.


Developer – Pangea Software

2008’s Approximate Price – £5.99

Today’s Price – £1.99

Last Updated – October 2013

A Level Editor mode allows users to share levels between each other and rate them appropriately.

After eBay ended its time on stage, the focus at WWDC returned to mobile gaming. This time the spotlight was on Pangea Software’s president Brian Greenstone, who showed the world the company’s latest game, Enigmo.

The company had two applications to show at the event, leading their slot in front of the crowd with the physics-based puzzle game.

Greenstone explained: “The game is completely touch-based. It has 50 levels and things get pretty complicated.”

As he played through the first levels of the game on-screen, the company president said: “This is extremely CPU intensive stuff to do. We’re doing hundreds, if not thousands of polygon-accurate collision tests every single frame. It requires a good CPU to do that, and we have a great CPU here on the iPhone.”

The game is the first puzzle game on Apple’s iPhone, has indeed gone down in price since its original unveiling. The brain-busting app has since been followed by Enigmo 2, which is also updated regularly.


Developer – Cow Music

2008’s Approximate Price – £2.50

Today’s Price – 69p

Last Updated – October 2010

Band’s limited functionality may force downloaders to other, more recent alternatives on the App Store.

The first of the musical applications shown at the 2008 conference came in the form of Band, a tool for both amateur and professional musicians to record melodies on a collection of phone instruments.

Creator Mark Terry said: “It’s a collection of virtual instruments that lets anyone, regardless of musical ability, to go beyond just listening to music on their iPhone, to creating music for themselves from scratch.”

The application was shown running some of the alternative playing modes, including the piano, drums, bass and even a blues interface, which the crowd enthusiastically ‘wooed’ their way through as Terry played.

The Band was one of the first music creation tools on the App Store, and it hasn’t aged too well. There are other alternative apps available now that offer more features than Band, which was last updated three years ago. At Bat

Developer – MLB

2008’s Approximate Price- £3

Today’s Price – Free

Last Updated – May 2014

The At Bat application eventually received an iPad upgrade, but it didn’t always look this nice.

MLB’s At Bat application offers baseball fans a means of keeping track of their favorite teams.

At WWDC, MLB technical assistant Jeremy Schoenherr listed the features included in the application, which included game schedules, player stats, and live scores.

Schoenherr said that thanks to the MLB app, users would ‘never be behind what’s going on.’

He added: “We decided to take advantage of the iPhone’s media player and add real-time highlights. You won’t find a better device to experience this app on.”

The application, which is fully compatible with iOS 7, remains in the App Store and is the most regularly updated out of all the releases investigated. The price is now free too, which is a bonus.

Which of Apple’s original releases are you still using? Let us know in the comments section below or by tweeting us at @Phonecruncher.