The Evolution of Mobile Apps! A complete historical guide to date!

Updated On: March 29, 2023

Updated By: AppsRhino


Evolution of Mobile Apps: Introduction

Is it just us, or have you noticed the growth of mobile apps in recent times? Technology has the appealing quality of changing every two weeks. Isn't that impressive? Yes, it is correct. Every aspect of technology is changing and will continue to change in the future. With the introduction of new apps and processes, there is no doubt that this tendency will become a natural phenomenon in today's virtual world.

What was once famous five years ago has now been replaced by something completely different, indicating that the trend will continue to evolve. Futurists and academics believe that technology, particularly mobile apps, will become based on historical tendencies.

Innovation is one of the driving elements behind this transformation. It is moving quickly. It has resulted in the launching of a slew of new apps that we now use. Furthermore, the differences between the apps we use today and those we used years ago are poles apart, just as the sun and moon are different.

Remember when apps displayed only the stuff they had rather than the content consumers wanted to see? Today, however, the situation is different. It provides a range of options based on an intuition that never deviates from users' expectations. Technologies like gyroscopes and location data are witnessing improvements in utility, innovation, and user experience. Furthermore, these apps are not based on a single concept, making them a better alternative for tech-savvy consumers.

People want an app experience that is smooth and entirely out of this world. When we think about technology, we immediately think of smartphone apps. We all use several apps daily, and each one makes our lives easier somehow. It has shifted to a new level with the emergence of the "internet of things," where everything is centered at the tip of your finger.

If we look at the trend these apps have followed over the last five years, the enthusiasm is unfathomable, as technology has advanced much beyond what it was years ago.

We all enjoy apps and rely on them in our daily lives. We have never had enough of these apps, whether utility or commercial apps or gaming apps on our mobile devices, as we continue to crave more and more.

Defining mobile applications 

A software application - as simple as that – we're not sure whether there's a better way to put it. This computer-generated program is compatible with various mobile devices, including iOS and Android and tablets, and other devices. Apps have made our lives easier, and we can't picture our lives without them. Let's look at how it all started — the growth of mobile apps – and see what we can learn.

Evolution of Mobile Apps


  • Martin Cooper designed the first mobile phone that could be held in one's hand.


  • Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne started Apple.


  • Japan created the world's first fully automated cellular network for automobiles. It is currently known as 1G.


  • The first commercially accessible cellphone was the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X in 1983.


  • EPOC, a Psion mobile operating system, was released in 1989.


  • 2G digital cellular networks were established in 1991 with the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) phone.


  • The Nokia 1011 was the first GSM phone that was commercially available.


  • IBM announced the first smartphone for general usage.
  • The 'MessagePad,' Apple's first tablet, was released.


  • Simon, an IBM smartphone with a touchscreen, email capability, and built-in programs such as an address book, calculator, calendar, Mail, Notepad, and Sketch Pad, went on sale.
  • In Europe, Nokia also released 2110. It was one of the tiniest GSM phones on the market.


  • The PalmPilot was debuted, and it quickly became clear that the third sort of mobile device, somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop, was needed.


  • WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) was first introduced in 1999.
  • Handango was founded as one of the first online software stores to offer mobile apps for personal digital assistants.
  • Blackberry OS was introduced and made its debut for the Pager Blackberry 850.
  • In version 2.2 of the Servlet standard, the concept of a "Web Application" was added to the Java language.


  • Microsoft introduced the tablet PC.


  • The BlackBerry 5810 smartphone was introduced in 2002.
  • The Danger Hiptop (Danger OS) was created.


  • Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears, and Chris White launched Android Inc. in California in 2003.


  • GetJar is a self-contained app store for mobile phones.


  1. Google paid at least $50 million for Android Inc.
  2. After the name "Ajax" was coined, applications such as Gmail began to make their client sides more interactive.


  • Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, which had been a long time coming.


  1. Apple's app store has 552 apps available.
  2. Android is a mobile operating system.
  3. Along with the Android market, HTC Dream, the first commercially available handset to run the Linux-based Android operating system, was released.
  4. Apple responded to developer backlash by releasing a developer SDK.


  1. In 2009, developers in the United States and the United Kingdom were given access to paid Android applications.
  2. The webOS operating system, sometimes known as LG webOS, was released. It is a multitasking Linux kernel-based operating system for smart devices such as smart TVs that have also been deployed as a mobile operating system.
  3. The Samsung Galaxy App Store was launched for Samsung Electronics' handsets.
  4. Aptoide, a software marketplace program for installing Android-based mobile applications, was introduced.
  5. A total of 250 million devices were in use of Symbian.
  6. Sun Microsystems launched JavaFX Script, a scripting language built by the company.
  7. Sun Microsystems announced the public availability of JavaFX mobile as part of the JavaFX 1.1 release.


  1. F-Droid, a community-maintained Android software repository akin to the Google Play store, was established in 2010.
  2. The application distribution service Blackberry World was launched.
  3. Support for Android paid applications has been extended to 29 countries.
  4. BlackBerry Ltd. has introduced BlackBerry Tablet OS, a QNX-based platform that will run on its recently released BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet computer.
  5. With around 3,000 apps available, Apple unveiled the Mac Software Store, a comparable app distribution channel for macOS iPad.
  6. Oracle Corporation purchased Sun Microsystems' Java ME.


  1. The word 'App' has been named the "Word of the Year" for 2010.
  2. The Amazon Android Appstore was launched.
  3. Opera Mobile Store is a platform-agnostic browser-based app store for mobile phone users and a digital software distribution platform.
  4. Appland is a cloud computing firm that creates white-label app store solutions for mobile operators, devices, and other businesses.
  5. An Iranian Android marketplace called Cafe Bazaar was established.


  1. In 2012, Google renamed the Android Market to 'Google Play.'
  2. Google allowed developers to link two extensions to an app, allowing it to grow in size. Each expansion file must be at least 2 Gigabytes in size, giving software developers 4 Gigabytes to work.
  3. Google launched Google Bouncer, an automated security system that scans both new and old apps for malware.
  4. Microsoft Store was launched as a centralized distribution point for apps, digital films, digital music, console games, and e-books.


  1. The Firefox Marketplace was launched in 2013.
  2. Developers have been advised that they can now use to link to their apps.
  3. According to Apple, the App Store now includes a new 'kids' section.
  4. The Ubuntu App Store was launched.


  • Google Play Wear OS, a version of Google's Android operating system developed for smartwatches and other wearables, required developers on Google Play to include a physical address on the app's website 2014.


  1. Before launching an app in the Play Store, Google began employing robotic technologies and human reviewers to verify it for malware and terms of service violations.
  2. It also launched a rating system for apps and games based on the official rating agencies in each location.


  1. Google Play Store, which includes all Android apps, was added to Chrome OS in 2016.
  2. Apple allows developers to purchase advertising slots in the US App Store to increase app discoverability.
  3. At Google's annual I/O developer conference, Instant Apps were launched. 
  4. JavaME was replaced with PersonalJava, a related concept.


  1. Google added a 'Free Software of the Week' area to the App Store, offering one normally-paid app for free. 
  2. Entries with pricing details, such as 'free' in the name, began to be rejected.


  1. In 2018, several notable custom Android distributions (ROMs) based on Android 9.0 Pie were made public.
  2. Due to Chinese laws, twenty-five thousand illicit apps were removed from the Chinese App Store.
  3. Oracle has made JavaFX a part of the OpenJDK under the OpenJFX project with JDK 11.


  1. OpenGL ES 3.0 or above is installed on 78.9% of devices as of May.
  2. Harmony OS is a new operating system developed by Huawei.

Evolution of mobile apps: Final Thoughts

Mobile applications are constantly changing and will continue to do so. They are a significant player in the market and hold a commanding position. For your business to remain relevant, you must have a dedicated mobile app.

The involvement of money, time, and complexity in producing a mobile app requires a dedicated team of developers. AppsRhino, fortunately, can assist you with your mobile app development needs. From defining business goals to creating roadmaps, we can help your company with the customization required to produce an excellent mobile app. If you have any doubts regarding mobile app requirements, reach out to us, we are always happy to help!

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