Popular apps for the iPhone and iPad, some of which usually cost upwards of $20, were being offered for free in Apple's online App Store on Monday and Tuesday to commemorate the store's fifth anniversary on Wednesday.
On the App Store for the iPhone or iPad, users will see a "5 Years of the App Store" banner with details on the apps and games available. The deals are only available for a “limited time.”
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Many popular games, including Infinity Blade II, Where's My Water? Tiny Wings, Badland, and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP are temporarily free. The steepest discount appeared to be Traktor DJ, a suite of tools for mixing and recording music that usually goes for $19.99, according to CNN.
MapMyRide+, photo-editing app Over, and the recipe app How to Cook Everything also were among the free apps.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for more information about the free apps.
In May, the App Store passed a staggering 50 billion downloads with 900,000 programs available, according to Apple. The company touts that it has paid out $10 billion to developers, or 30 percent of its sales, which is why it has attracted so many developers.
The App Store had precursors from the likes of Palm, Microsoft, and Salesforce.com's AppExchange, according to CNet, but Apple's marketplace became the most popular,
setting a precedent for other tech giants like Google, Samsung, and Amazon to adopt their own mobile application marketplaces.
"Nothing like the App Store existed before and it has fundamentally changed the world," Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said last month, describing the store's launch at the company's yearly developer conference, according to CNet.
Apple's store was the most accessible when it came out, providing users with a simple interface and making it easy to download and run programs.
But some industry analysts say Apple needs to innovate more, as Google Play edges out the Cupertino, Calif. company. Google Play boasts 975,000 apps, and has also more than 50 billion app downloads. Part of the reason behind Android's success is their platform has been embraced by carriers like Sprint that didn't have exclusive deals to sell the iPhone.
Apple has been embroiled in a lawsuit with Amazon since 2011 over Amazon's use of "app store," an app marketplace for the Kindle Fire.
Apple cited copyright infringement and has since trademarked the term. Amazon argues the words constitute a generic description, and the widespread term "app" dates back to the 1980s, according to CNN.
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