Happy anniversary to the App Store; what started with 500 apps in July 2008 has grown by leaps and bounds and now 900,000 apps are available to Apple customers around the world. The App Store forever changed the smartphone market and in the past five years, customers in 155 countries have downloaded more than 50 billion apps. This week, Apple is celebrating its five year anniversary with free downloads.

Who doesn’t love free downloads? The five games and five apps that are available as free downloads this week include:

Free apps:

Free games:
  • Infinity Blade II
  • Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
  • Tiny Wings
  • Where’s My Water?
Yes, I’ve already downloaded my copies. I don’t know that I’ll ever use the apps I downloaded but if I ever decided to take up DJ-ing in my free time, I have an app to help me out.

The App Store’s success isn’t just good news for Apple, it is also good news for the companies that make apps. Shazam CEO Rich Riley said, “We were blown away with our success on the App Store back in 2008. And almost five years later we continue to be amazed with how much people love using Shazam on their iPhone or iPad. With the App Store, we can effortlessly provide users with updates that give them great new features while making it easy for new users to discover and download Shazam for themselves.”

Riley hits on a key point – the App Store makes it easy for software developers and customers to update their products. I previously worked in the Information Technology sector and I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult even small-scale software update rollouts were. Sure, there can be some bugs in the App Store model but nothing on the scale of what I’ve dealt with in the past.

As a customer, I love that I can browse Apps any time of the day from anywhere I happen to be. If there is an update, I just tap a few buttons and voila, my app is up to date. I love it.

Free apps for App Store's 5th anniversary
Apple is offering customers five free apps and five free game downloads.