December 15, 2017 Last Updated 11:41 am

Pining for the early days of Apple’s App Store, when new and updated apps were easier to find

Apple appears to have bought into the idea that apps are no longer the way to go for media companies (probably true), but how this benefits Apple or app developers is a mystery

When TNM launched in 2010, and for the next few years, there was a go-to story I could always rely on if lost as to what to write: app updates.

App updates were important for many reasons beyond the typical bug fix. An app update might include added support for Apple’s new iPad (or the other way around, support for the iPhone if the app was first launched for the iPad), or it might include the addition of paid subscriptions, or simply new features like additional news sections.

That one could see these updates not only on their devices, but inside iTunes under Apps was, I thought at the time, brilliant marketing. It meant that no matter which device you were on you could see new updates, as well as new apps.

But, as you know, those days are over, and for TNM it means rarely talking about apps anymore. That can’t be good for anyone. It’s as if Apple has bought into the idea that apps are a bad thing and the open Internet (soon to be gone) the way to go of considering digital media.

Much of the information I used to access when talking about apps is still available. For instance, within the iPhone’s app store one can see the update and look at the version history. This mundane feature allows you to see if the new update really is a major update or not, and if you really should install it.

Take Adobe’s update for its mobile Lightroom app. The update earlier this week brings the app up to version 3.1.0.

I wouldn’t call it a major update but an important one. The update brings in improved HDR capturing, the ability add watermarks during export, and integrated ACR 10.1 (Adobe Camera Raw).

I’ve been using Lightroom on my iPhone more and more instead of Apple’s own camera app. I find that the camera options are superior, though not as extensive as some other third party apps. Still, I like shooting in Raw format and feel the results worth the large file sizes (after all, they can be reduced later).

I guess I feel a little nostalgic for the way Apple used to have the App Store, especially early in 2010 when new apps would show up on the front page of the category for at least one day, if not a whole week. Developers, and especially media app developers, would report that downloads would be excellent that first week. Now, finding a media app means having to know its exact name, and since Apple sucks at search, even then it is hard.

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