Apple's iMessage App Store is a big part of the many changes arriving with iOS 10 today. While the software update won't be available until around 1PM ET / 10AM PT, Apple has opened up the iMessage App Store a little early for developers and beta testers already using the final version of iOS 10. It's an early glimpse at how Apple will start selling stickers, apps, and games for use exclusively within iMessage.
There are multiple sticker packs available, with some free options and a Star Wars one for $1.99. A variety of Disney character packs that are also priced at $1.99. A number of apps are also starting to integrate into iMessage, with Citymapper adding in the ability to quickly send your location details, and ESPN supporting sports scores for messaging. There are also games available, so you can play titles like Words With Friends directly within iMessage conversations.
The early flurry of support looks encouraging for Apple's iMessage plans. Apple has added a variety of new effects to iMessage conversations, including the ability to write messages that disappear or slam onto people's displays. It's all in an effort to pull people away from alternatives like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Snapchat. If Apple can convince iPhone owners to spend $1.99 on sticker packs, then it's likely it will create its own new ecosystem within its App Store.