When the iPhone was first introduced by Steve Jobs in 2007 he said that it was a combination of a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communicator. Fast forwarding to today, and 33 iPhone models later, the iPhone and other smartphones, are a ubiquitous tool that over 85% of US adults now use.
The phone can be used for everything from playing games, checking the weather, watching movies, and even doing work. But when the iPhone was first released it only had a handful of apps on it that could be used and no new ones could be downloaded.
It wasn’t until 2008 with the official release of the “App Store” where the iPhone truly became a smartphone.
The addition of the app store opened up the iPhone and other Apple devices to the incredible world of Apple’s hardware and software. Allowing developers to create almost any application they wanted to – ranging from games like Monkey Ball and Pac-Man, to apps that tracked where you parked your car, to the Bible App (one of the apps available on the first day of the store).
Adding the App Store ‘democratized’ the iPhone in a sort of way where Apple didn’t have to solely rely on their developers to create products. Anyone with the technological acumen, could submit an app and instantly have it reach people’s devices.
This did not come without issues though, Apple quickly realized that they needed some kind of review process to approve apps on the app store (how many times can the ‘app’ syllable be used in one sentence). The best example of this was the “I Am Rich” app which served no purpose other than being $999.99 on the App Store.
Adding this review process made the content on the app store much better as well as eliminating games and apps that could be classified as ‘spam.’
Today, the app store is visited by 500 million people a week. All searching for apps to be more connected to people, to get the latest deals from brands, or to simply find a new game to chew away at free time.
With half a billion people going to the app store each week – every organization wants to have a presence on this space. It has lead to nearly every group, ranging from car washes to banks, creating an app to facilitate their users.
We want to ensure that churches have room on this platform to provide great tools to their congregation. Instead of paying a developer thousands of dollars or changing giving systems or Church Management Systems’ completely to use an app, any church can use Here I Am to give their people a great app experience.
At Here I Am we continue to improve on our product so that any church can be a part of this wonderful technology.