When the App Store first appeared more than a year after the iPhone’s debut, we were in awe. The possibilities seemed endless! And the first thing most of us did with all that infinite opportunity? Use our phones to feign binge drinking.
The App Store of 2008 and the years that followed was an entirely different landscape. Sure, there were some of us doing some incredible things that still stand today, but for the most part we just wanted to zone out and play tricks with the accelerometer. Though many of the most popular apps may seem silly today, back then, they were our wildest fantasies come to life.
Using a carefully calculated combination of old top charts, past iTunes purchases, and impeccable taste, we’ve gathered together the most (once-)beloved gems in App Store history. Of course, there’s undoubtedly a few we missed — feel free to set us straight down below.
We all probably remember the first time we ever saw an iPhone. And shortly after that, we all probably remember the first time we saw an iPhone mimic pouring beer down our friend’s throat. Because when the App Store first appeared, this one-off trick might as well have been pure, burn-her-at-the-stake magic — and we were absolutely delighted. For the future had arrived. [iBeer]
Similar to iBeer in terms of technological splendor, the lightsaber app also made excellent use of your iPhone’s fancy new motion sensor. Pick your colour, slice down with your phone, and one to three seconds later you’d hear the satisfying crunch of a lightsaber in action. Oh how far we’ve come (Yo excluded). [RIP Lightsaber Unleashed, but this one is close enough]
Hipstamatic: the impossible-to-use precursor to Instagram that everyone couldn’t get enough of. Of course, this was back when people were still confused about why we’d want to pretend our photos were taken with shitty cameras. This along with Hipstamatic’s absurd charges for new filters and impossibly long processing time doomed it from the start. But hey, at least there weren’t any pictures of feet. [Hipstamatic]
Tap Tap Revenge
It’s just like Dance Dance Revolution! Except theres no real exercise, the song selection is awful, and you’re almost guaranteed to give yourself early onset arthritis in your index finger alone. And yet, we could play this thing for hours — in retrospect, we probably should have seen Flappy Bird coming from a mile away. [RIP Tap Tap Revenge]
Remember when “more cowbell” jokes were still funny? Neither do we. And yet — we couldn’t help but download the app. It’s how people knew you were “fun.” [More Cowbell (although it now offers more than just cowbells; thus, we cannot recommend in good conscience)]
In the early days of the app store, Koi Pond was the number one paid app overall. The number one paid app. Number one. Out of everything. And we gave them money for it. All so we could tap our screens and watch digital fish scatter in fear. We were all monsters. [Koi Pond]
Of all the apps on this list, Cinemagram undoubtedly had the most potential. It was unique, it looped, and you could control the parts of the shot that were granted motion. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a whole Twitter backing it, so as soon as Vine came into the picture, Cinnemagram didn’t stand a chance. [Cinnemagram]
Monkeyball was one of the first games to really use the iPhone’s accelerometer to astounding effect. Thus, it was the App Store’s first iPhone adaptation to become wildly successful in its own right. And though it might not be much to look at today, we can still remember being wowed the first time we saw that adorable monkey rolling down on our iPhone screens. Who put that monkey in a ball? How does he go to the bathroom? Why is he in so many wildly dangerous situations? Who cares — check out those graphics. [Super Monkey Ball]
Just like its real-life counterpart, Bubble Wrap was a delight to those doing the popping and soul-crushingly obnoxious to everyone else. And yet — always satisfying. Our words can’t do it justice, though, when iTunes user Awe sum gaim‘s ode to the App is already perfect:
why are you putting only one star!?! This is an awesome game!!!! We’re you ACTUALLY expecting a mystery or a fashion game? Look at the name, bubble wrap. What dumbo would think this is a complicated game?? It’s for dumb people and people who love bubble wrap.
What dumbo, indeed. [Bubble Wrap]