Apple App Store
(Credit: Screenshot by Lance Whitney)

For a ten year old, Apple's App Store has accomplished a lot.

To commemorate the store's 10th anniversary on July 10, 2018, Apple has told us how and why it sees the iOS App Store as such a game-changer. In a news release, the company has spotlighted 11 of the key features of the store, complete with milestones and testimonials.

SEE: The 10 most important iPhone apps of all time

While Apple's story is naturally self-serving, it does show how the App Store has become a fertile ground for mobile developers and users alike. Businesses have grown and thrived by creating mobile apps run by millions of people. And those of us who use an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch have benefited from the easy availability and power of apps that have transformed our lives.

"When Apple introduced the App Store on July 10, 2008 with 500 apps, it ignited a cultural, social and economic phenomenon that changed how people work, play, meet, travel and so much more," Apple wrote. "Over the past decade, the App Store has created a safe place for users of all ages to get the very best apps and a vibrant app economy for developers of all sizes, from all over the world, to thrive."

The App Store is now home to more than 2 million apps, and Apple's recent statement shows how the company thinks about the store's most important accomplishments. Here are four of the biggest impacts:

1. It's made better opportunities for developers

The App Store has created more of a level playing field for businesses large and small.

"Before 2008, the software industry was dominated by a few large companies," Apple said. "The App Store opened the door for any developer, from one-person shops to large studios, to come up with a great idea, build a high quality app and seamlessly deliver it to the growing number of customers around the world."

​Student developers at Apple WWDC 2018
Student developers at Apple WWDC 2018 (Credit: Apple)

2. It's encouraged new coders

Apple has also provided an arena for people to learn coding and other technical skills. The company has encouraged individuals to learn and contribute to the app landscape. And that includes not just youngsters but older people as well.

"After turning 82, I started thinking about making games that even seniors could enjoy," app developer Masako Wakamiya said in one of the testimonials. "Friends taught me how to program and I created an app for iPhone. People often ask me, 'What made you want to do that?' Because older people tend to look backwards, I think it's better to take the leap forward, jump to new things and enrich our lives."

3. It's advanced education, gaming, and health

With its access to mobile gaming and video streaming, apps now allow us to play our favorite games and watch our favorite shows anywhere, anytime, Apple noted. Education and productivity are other key factors, according to Apple, as people can create and learn using the right apps for the right tasks. Health and fitness are important areas as apps give us the ability to keep track of our medical conditions and overall health.

Education apps
(Credit: Apple)

4. It's opened up the world of AR

Apple also highlighted the future with the growth of augmented reality apps that blend the virtual world with the real world.

"Augmented reality is a transformational technology that brings virtual experiences into the real world, changing the way customers both work and play," Apple said. "In 2017, Apple introduced ARKit 1.0 and overnight iOS became the biggest AR platform in the world, available to hundreds of millions of iPhone and iPad users. Today, over 3,000 AR apps on the App Store, such as Kings of Pool, Alice in Wonderland AR Quest and Houzz, [are] creating an even more engaging way for customers to shop, learn and play games."

AR apps
(Credit: Apple)

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  1. Apple has taken the 10th anniversary of the App Store to promote its most important impacts in business, education, health, and entertainment.
  2. The App Store has transformed the mobile landscape, giving new opportunities to developers and creating new experiences for users.

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Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."