This week marks the sixth anniversary of the App Store, as Jim Dalrymple reminds us:

On July 10, 2008, Apple launched the App Store, forever changing the way we use smartphones, tablets and many other devices. Think about how you used devices before apps, and how you use them today—there is no comparison. The iPhone and apps have changed the world.

(This means the iPhone 3G and MobileMe are also six years old. This batch of releases is one reason I left the Apple Store.)

Here’s Scott Forstall introducing the original iPhone OS SDK:

While it’s hard to believe now, early iPhone apps couldn’t do much. Things like multitasking, notifications and copy and paste weren’t present in 2008. When an app was closed, it was dead, and data was even more locked away into silos than it is now.

All that aside, those early days of the App Store were magical. In fact, by the end of the first month, my iPhone was already set up with several screens of apps:

One of the early apps that really stands out to me to this day is Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D. By today’s standards, the racing game isn’t much to look at or experience, but it turned my iPhone from something useful to something fun.

Sometime over the last six years, however, my iPhone has turned from something fun into something indispensable. Most days, it’s not only my iPod, camera and phone, but my primary computer. I couldn’t do my job or run this site without it.

In his review of the iPhone 3G, John Gruber wrote:

If I could travel back 20 years and show my then 15-year-old self just one thing from the future of today, it would be the iPhone. It is our flying cars. Star Trek-style wireless long-distance voice communicator. The content of every major newspaper and magazine in the world. An encyclopedia. Video games. TV. Etc.

Over the last six years, this has held up pretty well, but Apple doesn’t deserve all the credit. A device is only as good as what it can do, and thanks to the App Store and third-party developers, they can do just about anything.