Browser previews come to App Store

Apple rolled out iTunes Preview page for apps today, finally killing those ugly "re-directing you to iTunes" pages for good.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on

You know those annoying redirect Web pages you arrive at when you click on an App Store link in a Web browser? Well they must have annoyed someone at Apple too, because they're gone.

Before today, when you clicked on an App Store link (like this one for GoodReader) you were whisked off to a Web page (pictured above) that re-directed you iTunes. While fine for Mac users (who have iTunes installed by default), the links were inconvenient when using a computer that didn't have iTunes installed. Resulting in the ugly, red "unable to find iTunes" error pictured above.

As of today, said App Store link now links to a much nicer "iTunes Preview" page for apps that displays the app logo, price, description, screenshots, rating, reviews and more in a new window or tab.

Apple's stuck its toe in the water with iTunes Preview for music in November 2009. However you were unable to listen to the songs without launching iTunes. That changed on January 7, 2010 when Apple began offering 30 second Web-based song previews using Quicktime. Tracks are encoded at 44.1 AAC 300+ kbits/second. If you like a track you can click a button to then be re-directed to iTunes where you can purchase it.

There's still no video previews for apps, nor are there iTunes preview pages for video content or podcasts (ahem!) but I can't imaging that they're far behind.

These baby steps iTunes is making on the Web appear to foreshadow Apple's imminent roll-out of iTunes.com with full-track audio streaming as the company leverages its Lala acquisition in December 2009.

Tip: TechCrunch

Editorial standards