How Mobile Apps Took Over the World (and Ed Tech)

Steve Jobs saw mobile apps coming. In the summer of 1983, as Apple was preparing to launch the first Macintosh computer, Jobs gave a talk in Aspen about the future of computing. He wasn’t talking about the groundbreaking graphical user interface of Apple’s recent Lisa personal computer, or its 5.25-inch floppy drive. He did not sing the praises of the forthcoming Macintosh, which would help transform computers from business machines to personal devices. What he did talk about was apps.

Looking toward the future of computing, he told the audience in Aspen about the future of software. It would be like a record store, he told them, where you would browse through titles, preview them, and select the one you want. When you made your choice, you’d pay by card, like magic. It was a prediction that clearly presaged the App Store and iTunes. 

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