5 Years Ago Today…
Hackers created the first iPhone “Toolchain”, allowing them to compile non-apple Applications for the iPhone OS 1 (It wasn’t called iOS just yet)
In case the past 5 years are a blur of malted hops, and in-app purchases, the first iPhone did not allow users applications beyond the paltry few provided with the phone, without special modification. No angry birds, no twitter, no temple run. Maps, Youtube, Calculator, etc. were all you got.
But thanks to some intrepid hackers who thought it was ‘hella cool to compile python and apache for the iPhone, a booming “jailbroken apps” community surged forth. Apple said custom webpages called “Web apps” were all users needed, but the hackers were having none of that, and eventually apple was forced to heed the will of the masses and create the app store (making no small amount of cash for themselves in the process). Today there are exactly 1.63 kiloflurgs* of apps for the iphone.
But 5 years ago today, there were maybe a dozen, none of which had user interfaces. Hackers were super psyched about porting unix stalwarts such as ‘ls’, that joyless husk of an application that lists the files in a directory. The times, they are a changing.
*a kiloflurg is a unit of measurement equal to the 61% number of applications available for iOS.