Apps, the key ingredient

It’s all about Apps these days isn’t it?  The new App to have fun, to read news, to find stuff, to purchase stuff, to connect with others, there is always an App for “that”.  What is the main reason to see such an explosion in the “App” ecosystem?  Is it devices such as Android, IPhone, Windows Phone? Is it the fact that each one of those has one or more integrated marketplaces? Is it the Tooling that makes even non-pro developers capable of building very compelling apps? Is it the fact that the very notion of an App is simple to digest for most people? What has been the key for the “App” explosion?
Of course the safest answer is “all of the above” but what has been the ONE key factor that has fueled the massive explosion of Apps? IMO Amazon latest move is a true testament to the key ingredient: Integrated Marketplaces, seamless distribution and commerce channels at developer’s fingertips that provide “trust” for consumers.
Think about it, devices have been around for ages (though granted not as sexy as the latest ones) as well as developer tools, operating systems, etc. But it has only been until the last couple of years (with the IPhone debut to be precise) that the key ingredient was added to the App ecosystem mix: Marketplaces.  Suddenly developers don’t have to worry about the “how they will distribute” their stuff but “what” they will distribute.  I don’t know about you but in the past the thought figuring out how to distribute an App prevented me (and tons of my friends) from even thinking about doing apps; it was just not worth the time to create an App (unless it was for fun) knowing I would have a hard time distributing it and even a harder time convincing customers that it was ok to give my App a try even if it was a web app.  Trust in the cyber world is hard to come by these days and having a company like Amazon, Microsoft or Apple backing up a “store” is something that consumers really care about.

An App “store” is a feature that every single major piece of software will have in the foreseeable future to the point of making it a commodity.  The decision for us moonlighters will now be which platforms and marketplaces to target. Do you care about reach? Do you care about $$$? Do you care about having fun while coding?   For me it’s a simple decision, I will go where the masses are as long as the platform is leveled enough for me to create something useful  without retorting to ancient languages (E.g. forget about me coding in C++, won’t happen).
What about you? What is the key ingredient that makes you tick?