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App Store Fifth Anniversary: The Ten Best Apps And Games From 2008

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on July 10th, 2013

The App Store launched July 10, 2008 and brought with it a whole new way of distributing and purchasing software. The first several months were a wild west frontier of pricing, business models (or the lack thereof), and genre, making the iPhone the place to be.

As the years have gone by, things have gotten more crowded, more predictable, and perhaps more "same-old" to some. Let's take a look back at those early, heady days with ten of the best iOS apps from the launch of the App Store.

Cro-Mag Rally - Kart racing with cavemen? Yes, please! This launch title from veteran Mac developer Pangea showed us all how much fun the iPhone could be, paving the way for a host of ports and new gaming experiences on the go.

AIM - Before the recent spate of apps that bring multi-client, desktop-style instant messaging to the iPhone and iPad, there was only AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM. This launch title clued us in to the future of always being in touch, even if we didn't know it at the time.

Fieldrunners - Oh, tower defense games, why do you torment us so? Fieldrunners took the concept already on the web in Flash games and brought it to the devices we had in our pockets every day, iterating its tower defense gameplay to a fine polish. We were hard-pressed to stop playing, to be honest, and still are.

Yelp - Like Urbanspoon, Yelp brought location-based awareness together with user-based opinions on local restaurants and coffee shops at a level we'd never seen before. Yelp has become an indispensable tool when traveling, and even while staying in our hometown, letting us find interesting places to eat and drink at a price we can afford.

Super Monkey Ball - Wait, we were just playing this on our GameCube! How cool is it that we can tilt our iPhones and roll that adorable monkey around the maddeningly difficult tracks? Ten bucks! That's a sweet deal! Oh, what a difference half a decade makes.

Google Earth - This one came out in October of 2008, quickly amazing us all with its innovative zooming interface as well as its comprehensiveness. Finally, we thought, an interesting app from Google.

Rolando - Wow! This game showed us that we didn't have to own a PSP to get a quality arcade puzzle platform game like Loco Roco. It also allowed the early promise of ngmoco;) to shine forth like a beacon in the wilderness.

MLB At Bat - Updated on a yearly basis since 2008, MLB At Bat came onto the scene like a home run, proving that this little App Store thing was for more than just fart apps and casual games. Serious sports fans rejoiced in 2008 when this baby was released.

Galcon - This real-time space-themed strategy game was ready on day one of the App Store, bringing a depth of gameplay not seen yet. While games like Mushroom Wars and the like have since iterated on the concept, Galcon remains a perennial favorite.

Evernote - This essential app has been around since day one, and still continues to improve. Evernote showed us how important it was to have access to our notes, files, and pictures across all the devices we used, whether they were on a desktop or in our pocket.

Strangeness From Earth HD Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad
By Jennifer Allen on November 30th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ODDITY
Finding quirky Google Earth based sights so you don't have to!
Read The Full Review »

Apple Lists 2010 Top Apps

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on December 9th, 2010

As the year winds down and we look ahead to the next decade it's time for all those wonderful end-of-year lists we all get so excited about. Today we have some exciting news, as Apple has detailed all the top paid and free apps for the iPhone and iPad, as well as the top grossing apps on each platform. Here's the full rundown, for your edification.

Top 10 Paid iPhone Apps

1. Angry Birds
2. Doodle Jump
3. Skee-Ball
4. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz
5. Fruit Ninja
6. Cut the Rope
8. The Moron Test
9. Plants vs. Zombies
10. Pocket God

Top 10 Free iPhone Apps

1. Facebook
2. Angry Birds Lite
3. Words With Friends Free
4. Skype
5. Tap Tap Revenge 3
6. The Weather Channel®
7. Paper Toss
8. Bing
10. Talking Tom Cat

Top 10 Grossing iPhone Apps

1. MLB.com At Bat 2010
2. Angry Birds
3. Call of Duty: Zombies
4. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz
5. FriendCaller 3 Pro
6. Zombie Farm
7. TomTom U.S.A.
9. Plants vs. Zombies
10. Doodle Jump

REad even MORE lists after the jump.

Google Updates Google Earth To Version 2.0.0. Adds Ability to View Custom Maps, On iPhone!

Posted by Arron Hirst on November 24th, 2009
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

I've always been a fan of Google Earth. Ever since it was first introduced I've always thought the concept behind it, was incredible. Having the ability to virtually surf the globe, and search in any country, state, region, city, town or street and visually fly to it, get walking or diving directions to it, or simply see and read about the surrounding area via various Wikis, was (and still is) almighty powerful stuff - But really, Who am I kidding? You already knew that!

Up until October 28th 2008, Google's 'Earth' service, a spherical flurry of thousands of satellite images which depicted the planet in 2D (and shortly after, 3D), was available on PC, Mac and a selection of chosen mobile handsets. When Google announced Google Earth for iPhone though, I was, like most of you, quietly excited. Not just because this was a mobile version of Google Earth, but that this was a gesture-based version of Google Earth, on the iPhone - and with its built in GPS unit, we now had location-aware mapping, tied into the largest search engine on Earth. That, was exciting.

When the app finally debuted on the App Store, many people including me thought Google had gotten it as right as they could. Spot on, in fact. A stable, feature-packed release which (without exaggeration) literally put the globe in your pocket. Okay it ran a little clunkier on the 3G than the 3GS, but that was to be expected.

If there's one thing I like about the App Store though, it's the update process. It forgets the old, and ushers in the new. Most of the time, updates to said app(s) happen fairly frequently. Google being Google though, their 2.0.0 update (a major milestone release) has been nearly 10 months in the making, and last Monday saw it's debut on the store Has it been worth the wait? .. Well, somewhat. While this release doesn't bring too many ground-breaking features, it does have some nice additions. For example, if you've been waiting to view maps you've saved on Google Earth Desktop on your iPhone, your sure going to like this release. A new feature in the software aptly named 'My Maps' now allows you to view any and all previously saved 'Maps' on the software's desktop counterpart(s), on your iPhone. Not only that, but these 'saved' maps can include layers upon layers of information. For example; itinerary, route lines, traffic, and other data. This essentially means you can no create truly 'personalised' maps - and it works well!

Another nice addition I liked was the use of greatly enhanced visual feedback when tapping objects. Before, it was kinda a guessing game of which 'Wiki' or place marker you were selecting, (especially if you happen to be selecting from a group of similar wikis or places). Now in 2.0.0, tapping on a wiki or object results in a light glow of that object, meaning you can differentiate, more easily. It's still not perfect, but it's a helping hand. Alongside this 'icon glow', you'll also notice that the presentation of place information is much more streamlined, and easier to read.

And that's it! Apart from those two main new features, the app is said to have had its overall performance enhanced - although I have to be honest and say it wasn't really all that noticeable (to me anyway!), and of course Google took this opportunity to add support for a variety of new languages, brings the total supported up to 31 (from the previous 18)!

My only gripe now is I wish they'd update some of the satellite images in their database. Some of them are what? 2003? .. Ugh. You can read more about this update in detail over on The Official Google Blog.