There will be a ton of thought pieces about the App Store today. Here’s mine.

I liken the App Store to the characters in The Matrix getting downloads of new abilities. Having a slab of metal and glass that can become a new thing at the touch of a button is amazing.

We’ve had software for general purpose computing devices for years, so why does it feel different with an iPhone and the App Store? I think it’s the on demand nature. For example, I was on vacation once and we wondered what the mountains were on the horizon. I Search the App Store for a mountain identifying app, found Peak Finder, downloaded it, and now I could hold up my phone and see the names of the mountains overlaid on them. In a moving car I was able to reconfigure my phone and answer a question.

This has played out in similar ways many times for me. I realize I have a need, I think of an app that could help me, and often I find what I need in the App Store. Even better, I can pay for it. I know there needs to be more sustainability for developers (I hope to be one one day, so I get it), but I also appreciate that not every application needs to cost $99, or even $9.99. Being able to pay a few dollars for something I may only use a few times is totally reasonable to me. The App Store made that possible.

The iPhone and iPad are truly transformative devices. I’m riding the train on my morning commute, typing up this story on my phone. Amazing. But, I’m using using Drafts which I downloaded from the App Store. I could have used Apple Notes, but I prefer Drafts. The App Store allows me to choose what I want my phone to be. I honestly can’t imagine what my life would be like without it.

Thank you, Apple.