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Today in Apple history: World’s first third-party iPhone app arrives

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Hello World
An intrepid hacker gets the iPhone to say "hello." While the message is simple, the meaning is profound.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 20: Today in Apple history: World's first third-party iPhone app arrives July 20, 2007: Just a month after the original iPhone goes on sale, the first third-party app gets compiled and launched for the new platform.

Called “Hello World,” the software serves more as a proof of concept than a serious tool. But it demonstrates that third-party apps will become a cornerstone of the new iPhone economy. It’s a shame Apple doesn’t get the memo.

Why freemium apps suck for everyone (and how Apple is killing paid apps)

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Only one of the top 200 grossing apps is a paid app
Paid apps are an endangered species: Only one of the 200 top-grossing apps on the App Store is a paid download.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

I work on an iPhone app called Reps & Sets as a hobby project in my spare time. This week, my partner and I came to the conclusion that there is no future for our app as a paid download, so we have reluctantly decided to make it free.

This was an incredibly tough call, because we have invested literally thousands of hours in developing our app over the years. Giving all that hard work away for free is heartbreaking. But we didn’t feel we had much choice.

How much does in-house app development really cost?

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How much does in-house app development really cost?
Putting a price tag on in-house app development can be tricky.
Photo: MacPaw

Our new App Business section is brought to you by MacPaw, maker of proven Mac apps.

If you’re developing a Mac app, you’re faced with a major either/or decision: whether to distribute inside or outside of the Mac App Store (MAS). Sticking to the MAS means you’ve got access to tools for licensing, hosting, crash reporting and other necessary tasks. However, Apple’s tools may not be what’s best for your app.

The 12 biggest moments for Apple in 2014

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iPhone 6 Plus. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Looking back on the hits from Apple's blockbuster year. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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2014 was an absolutely monumental year for Apple. Haters will hate, but one thing can’t be denied: This is a company that refuses to rest on its laurels.

Under Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple debuted a new product category with the Apple Watch, sold a record number of new iPhones, made the biggest acquisition in its history, and successfully sent its suffering stock price back into the stratosphere.

The company wasn’t without its missteps, but all in all, it’s hard to call 2014 anything short of a blow-away year for Apple.