Apple had a web app store before the App Store. This is how he looked

It is generally accepted that Cydia was the only app store before the App Store. We know it as a catalog of tweaks for jailbroken iPhones, but it was she who first offered the ability to install applications on iOS, or, as it was then called, iPhoneOS. This happened a few months before Apple introduced the App Store. And what came before him? Many people think that nothing, and iPhone owners were content with only a regular set of programs. But this is not the case, because Apple also had another software distribution site that you either forgot about or simply did not know about.

Do you still remember this design of Apple’s website? So you can remember the web app store too.

Many sincerely believe that web applications are a new era invention, but they were the forerunners of native software that became available to iOS users with the advent of the App Store. In 2007, when Apple first launched the iPhone, it invited developers to create web versions of its applications, which it distributed – you will be surprised now – through its official website.

The very first iOS app store

The iPhone web app directory was located at Today this page is no longer active, but you can find an archived copy of it. Google cached it surprisingly well, so you can get more than just what the proto-store iPhone app store looked like. There are also sections of programs like in the modern App Store, and their descriptions, and a mention of the developers who created them.

This is how the interface of the same web application store looked like.

It is clear that these were websites adapted to work on a small screen, but this way users could access both Facebook and all kinds of games that were run on the power of the browser. Despite this, Apple did not allow anything to be posted on its website. For developers, specific requirements were written that they had to follow in order for their application to be posted on

At first, these applications could not be installed in the usual sense, in order to be able to launch them directly from the desktop. The maximum that was allowed to users was to bookmark web applications so that they can quickly access them later. But then Apple realized that it was not so convenient and offered the ability to add web applications to the desktop.

Which is better: PWA or native apps

The same thing can be done today with progressive web applications, which continue the traditions of that quasi-software distributed through the Apple website. But today everyone believes that PWA is the future of mobile applications, because it is so convenient not to depend on the App Store. But Apple already then understood that it was impossible to compare web applications with native software.

There were applications and games in this directory, but all of them are in the format of sites

Web apps have more limitations than apps designed to run natively. Not only are they more resource-intensive in identical use cases, they are also less secure. Therefore, you should not think that Apple has not yet come to understand the full benefits of web applications. On the contrary, Apple has long gone through this stage and made sure that there is nothing better than native software.

Not only Apple understood this, but also the users themselves. Those who had an iPhone at the turn of 2007-2008 know how inconvenient and impractical all this was. Journalist John Gruber, who is known for his closeness to Apple, called the project a “shit sandwich.” After all, every time, to play, launch Facebook or write a message to someone, you had to launch a browser, which, moreover, was incapable of many, many things.

Source: — крупнейший сайт о iPhone, iPad, Mac в России by

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