The Apple App Store is an online store for purchasing and downloading software applications and mobile apps for Apple computers and devices. The App Store initially debuted as an online app store for mobile devices powered by Apple’s iOS mobile operating store such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, but it has since expanded to also include a Mac App Store for purchasing applications for Mac OS X personal computers. The Mac App Store can only be accessed by PCs using Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Mac OS X Lion or a later version of Mac OS X.
The Apple App Store serves as the only way to download native iOS applications without jailbreaking the device, and apps can be purchased and downloaded directly to the device itself or they can be accessed through Apple’s iTunes software and then transferred to the iOS device. Apps can also be shared across multiple iOS devices and Mac OS X computers with Apple s free iCloud service.
There are more than 500,000 apps available on the Apple App Store, which shares the “app store” market with similar offerings like the Android Market and Amazon’s Appstore for Android-powered devices, the Blackberry App World for Blackberry devices and the Nokia for Ovi Store. Software developers can release their own mobile apps for the Apple App Store with the Software Development Kit for iPhone OS. These apps can be freely downloaded or purchased by users, with revenues for the latter shared between Apple (30 percent) and the software developer (70 percent).