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In July 2008, Apple launched the App Store, 1 1/2 years after the release the first iPhone, an event that would change the world of publishing forever.
At that point, software
applications, aka apps (i.e., task-specific coded programs or utilities
for end users), had existed for some time, since the birth of the computer. But their numbers were few.
And never before had they been powered and run on a hand-held device
that tripled as personal compu-
ter, music player, and phone.
unleashed an industry more vast and far-reaching than even Steve Jobs
ted. New apps exploded onto the market, simpli-
fying life's daily tasks in ways we didn't know we wanted but now
can't live without.
Apple discovered it needed a way to manage and benefit from
the new cultural paradigm it had started, while also offering
third-party developers and early adopters a place at their party. At that time,
the App Store was the place to be and be seen.
April 2010, the company changed the game again, as well as the party
dress code. This time, it was the release of the iPad that brought new
categories to an expanded App Store. Among these new categories:
And thus, the StoryApp genre was born.
newest storytelling genre, the StoryApp has since been trialed and
tested and nurtured into its own as intrepid developers, authors, and
publishers have struggled with, and learned, how best to make use of the
form. From their initial attempts to recreate the book on the screen,
these early adopters have much to teach us about how mobile and tablet
devices can be used to enrich and extend story content as well as
educate a new generation of tech-savvy young readers: today's "digital
In this Brief
History of StoryApps and Interactivity, I attempt to illustrate
through real-world examples the evolution of the StoryApp form, from its
earliest flawed iterations to today's blockbusters. And with it, I hope to set the stage for more in-depth video views and reviews on the ground-breaking, earth-shaking, entertainment-making StoryApps of today... and tomorrow.
all owe a debt of gratitude to the StoryApp pioneers. I include their products herein not to criticize, but to
demonstrate what we may learn from their efforts to help us best usher our story content into an interactive future.
My thanks to all the developers, authors, illustrators, publishers, etc., featured this video. And to a whole host of others besides.