June 30, 2012, 7:35 AM — A long time ago in a mind-set far away, I spent a lunch with friends trying to figure out what we'd do if we could reprogram our cellphones. Our ideas were, in retrospect, lame. Maybe we would change the font on the dialer or come up with a screensaver animation. Wouldn't it be cool if we could get flying toasters running on the screen of our cellphone?
The iPhone was still several years away when we came up with those ideas. The millions of ways people would be reprogramming smartphones just a few short years later was beyond our comprehension. The App Store and the effort of tens of thousands of programmers changed that.
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The smartphone has proven that a marketplace for delivering code can appear seemingly out of nowhere, and developers would have another choice for showcasing their wares. It's not that the App Store was new -- you could develop for Nokia, Windows Mobile, and Java phones long before it came along. But Apple eased the process and provided enough features that made it worthwhile for developers to start creating.