What Is the First Mobile App?

Patrick Burnett

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives. We use them to order food, book a ride, shop online, and even find love.

But have you ever wondered what the first mobile app was? Let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the origins of mobile apps.

The Birth of Mobile Phones

The first mobile phone was invented in 1973 by Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher. The device weighed 2.5 pounds and had a talk time of just 30 minutes. It wasn’t until the 1990s that mobile phones became widely available to the public.

The First Mobile App

In 1993, IBM Simon was introduced as the first-ever smartphone with a touchscreen display. It had features like a calendar, address book, calculator, and even email capabilities. Simon also had something that resembled an app store called the Simon Store.

However, the first mobile app as we know it today was created in 1997 by Finnish tech company Nokia. The game Snake was pre-installed on Nokia’s model 6110 and became an instant hit. The objective of the game was to guide a snake around obstacles while eating pellets to grow longer.

Evolution of Mobile Apps

After Snake’s success, other game developers started creating mobile games for various platforms like Java ME and Symbian OS. However, it wasn’t until Apple launched its App Store in 2008 that mobile apps exploded in popularity.

Today there are over 5 million apps available on various app stores across different platforms like iOS and Android. From social media to productivity tools to gaming apps, there seems to be an app for everything.


The first mobile app may have been simple, but it paved the way for what we have today – an entire ecosystem of apps that make our lives easier and more entertaining. As technology continues to evolve, who knows what the next big thing in mobile apps will be. But one thing is for sure – we’ll be downloading and using them every day.