Ten years ago, the iPhone App Store was just about a year old, and very much a Wild West in the world of software development. Some software makers saw a chance to get rich quick with cheap gimmicks, while others made efforts to turn venerable websites or desktop programs into mobile apps. Others still came up with entirely new ideas that endure even now. By looking back, we can learn a lot about how the App Store matured and evolved. Novelty apps that thrived when the iPhone itself was still a novelty eventually gave way to sophisticated games. Other apps proved so popular that Apple eventually built their features into iOS itself, effectively dooming them as stand-alone products. The ideas that have stuck around longest have either benefitted from the backing of tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, or have kept themselves fresh through years of feature updates. To come up with this list, we used archive.org and its March 2009 snapshots of the app listing website AppShopper, … [Read more...] about Whatever happened to the hottest iPhone apps of 2009?
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It’s a bright September morning in San Carlos, California, and Masayoshi Son, chairman of SoftBank, is throwing me off schedule. I’d come, as he had, to meet with the people he’s tapped to run the Vision Fund, his $100 billion bet on the future of, well, everything. After almost four decades of building SoftBank into a telecom conglomerate, Son, an inveterate dealmaker, launched this unprecedented venture two years ago to back startups that he believes are driving a new wave of digital upheaval. He has staked everything on its success–his company, his reputation, his fortune. We’d both arrived with the same basic question: Where is this massive vehicle heading? But because I wasn’t the one footing the 12-figure allowance, I understood that I’d be the one to wait. In the hubbub of Son’s visit, my 9 a.m. meeting gets rescheduled multiple times until it’s set for 4:30 p.m. When I finally arrive at the Vision Fund’s offices, … [Read more...] about The most powerful person in Silicon Valley