Apple launches iMessage App Store for iOS 10

On the eve of its release of iOS 10, Apple has launched its iMessage App Store, filled with quite a few apps supporting the new offering of the latest mobile operating system. The marketplace is only currently available to those with iOS 10 installed as part of the beta program, but just wait another day and you too will be able to browse around.

It appears a healthy selection of applications will already be available as soon as you install iOS 10. We’ve seen updates for Evernote, Email by EasilyDo, OpenTable, Yelp, JibJab, Words with Friends, Square Cash, The Weather Channel, and GIF Keyboard. And just today, Nintendolaunched the official Super Mario Run Stickers for iMessage.

Prior to Monday, those that had the beta version of iOS 10 only saw the apps that were previously installed. Now it seems that the company has automatically refreshed this storefront to display more choices.

It’s important to note that most of what appears in the iMessage App Store should be considered extensions of the original apps — pretty much the same as what you’d have with the Apple Watch. However, there are some programs within iMessage that are standalone, meaning they won’t have an app cousin that you’d find on your device’s home screen.

What you won’t find in this app store are chatbots. Instead, these are means to extend traditional apps into the messaging world, something that’s similar to perhapsSlack’s Message Button offering.

Apple revealed that the final version of iOS 10 would be arriving on September 13 and will work for iPhone SE, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPod touch 6th generation, iPad 4th generation, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, and iPad Pro.

Announced at this past year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), the update to iMessage is significant in that it’s the first time that the company has opened up its core messaging product to third-party developers and recreating the magic that it had with the original App Store years ago within iMessage. As other companies have launched platforms around their chat applications such as Facebook Messenger,SkypeGoogleKikTelegram, and Slack, Apple doesn’t want to be left behind.

If you’re interested in trying out these apps, you’ll have to be a part of Apple’s beta program, which requires a bit of work to install onto your iPhone. Or, you can wait until tomorrow until your device updates its operating system to get the final version of iOS 10.


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