Just a week ago, I subscribed to Pinch Media's Recently Added iPhone Apps feed, which updates with new apps as they appear on iTunes. I'm not exactly sure how they get that data, as the iTunes XML data is encrypted I think, so it's actually quite an interesting hack they've done. I figured it'd be a good way of keeping tabs on some interesting iPhone apps. To my astonishment I've seen updates pass through my reader for over 450 apps in just 7 days.
That's a lot of apps. And you know what? From the descriptions of most of them, I'd say there's a ton of unmitigated crud flowing into the App Store right now. You don't read about it because the iPhone is all shiny and new, but with all those apps arriving daily the quality has to be really varied. Really, really varied. And with a few of the App developers making BANK to the tun of a quarter million in like two months, it's just going to get worse. The sort of press those successes generate may not be good for Apple at all in the long run, as it appears the land-rush is on, and the scammers, spammers and other dregs of online society are closing in fast and I have serious doubts if the iTunes Store is really made to keep up.
You know, I didn't realize there were that many freakin' Objective C programmers out there, honestly. 65 new apps a day, for 7 days straight? Fuck me.
(It reminds me of the deluge of Java Games we saw a few years ago, which I posted about then, with accompanying screens shots, so I figured I'd do the same here with the app icons. There were too many to fit in one post though, so I ended up taking a screenshot instead. Insane.)
How this is all going to work out, I'm not sure - but it's definitely interesting to watch. Will we see the equivalent of Atari's E.T. game before too long, decimating the entire market, or will Apple keep the crap at bay? And not just Apple - Google is stepping into it next with their Android app store on the G1. Wow. We're going to need some pretty high wading boots I think before we see the end of this.
I read some complaints about social-networking apps for "throwing sheep" the other day... How about an iPhone "compass" app that just shows a *picture* of a compass, with instructions to look for the sun, and use your finger as a fucking sundial? I kid you not. Call John Doerr, I'm not sure they're funded yet.
Yeah, I see pain coming for all involved.