What Was Your First Ever Smartphone App?

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Photo: Tada Images (Shutterstock)

What was your first smartphone? Mine was an iPhone 3GS, a phone with no selfie camera, HD display, or flash. What it could do was run apps…a lot of apps. As the slogan went, “There’s an app for that.” Whether you’re team iOS or Android, you undoubtedly now own a smartphone, which means one day, years back, you downloaded an app for the first time. But which app?

As it turns out, it’s remarkably simple to go back in time and see which app was the first you ever downloaded (provided you haven’t changed accounts over the years). On iPhone, open the App Store, tap your profile in the top right, choose “Purchased,” then tap “My Purchases.” On Android, open the Play Store, tap your profile, then head to Payments & subscriptions >  Budget & history > Purchase history. 

Now, start scrolling: If you’ve had your Apple ID or Google Account for a while, you probably have a long list of apps in your purchase history. (I’m curious how many are in mine, but I do not have the patience to count them all.) Eventually, you will reach the bottom of the list, where you’ll find your inaugural app.

Apparently, the first app I ever downloaded on my current Apple account is a game called Siege Hero, which I installed on Aug. 19, 2011. I used a different Apple account back in the day, so if I wanted to see my true first-ever app I’d need to dig up those old login credentials and repeat the process.

Oh Flappy Bird. Were we ever so young?Screenshot: Joel Cunningham

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You might be surprised to see how many of those old apps are still available to download (apparently meme generators haven’t kicked the bucket). However, you won’t only see apps that you that are still active, at least on iOS. If an app has since left us, you’ll still see it in your list, but the download icon will be greyed out, and if you tap on it, you’ll receive an App Store error. Alas, I’ll never again experience such gems as Stupidness 2, What’s My IQ?™, or Hardest Game Ever – 0.02s.

So what was your first app ever? Let me know in the comments. Was it a game? A work app? Was it a freebie, or did you pay for it? Depending on how long you’ve had your account, I expect to see a lot of Temple Run and Instagram, but maybe also Tap Tap Revolution or iBeer. Remember that app that was just a big battery indicator? They couldn’t all be winners.

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