Apple has announced that over 500 million apps have been downloaded from the App Store, only a month on from revealing that the figure had hit 300 million.

The news - proudly displayed on the homepage - is a major milestone for a service that only went live in the summer.

Apple says: "500 million apps downloaded. And counting. There are more than 15,000 apps on the App Store, and so far users have downloaded an incredible 500 million, in every category from games to business".

In early December, when the 300 million milestone was hit, there were said to be over 10,000 apps available.

Apple appears to have been relaxing its rules as regards the App Store lately, with the news this week that several browsers - albeit niche ones - have been approved.