One year ago today, Apple introduced its "App Store" in iTunes, selling games and applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Since then, the App Store has become an unexpected phenomenon, driving a surge in iPod/iPhone sales and changing the way both consumers and the industry think about software price-points and distribution. Much of what the App Store offers is silly, useless—even vulgar—and Apple has received justified criticism for its vague app-approval process and sudden fits of prudery. But a good app (like Instapaper, or Pandora, or MLB At Bat) can change the way iPod/iPhone owners use their device, making a handy piece of technology practically indispensable. And a good game? Well, anyone who's spent hours obsessively playing Peggle or Trism knows just how entertaining that can be. So happy birthday, you time-sucking, money-draining online market. Live long and prosper.
Hat tip: iPhone Alley.