iTunes, App Store removal, and a whole bunch of broken links

Kirk McElhearn:

As I reported here yesterday, Apple released an update to iTunes. The latest version, 12.7, has some minor changes, but one big revolution: the App Store is no longer available.


If they go to your website, and click on the Download on the App Store button, something strange will happen. They will not be able to go to the App Store, because it no longer exists.

In fact what happens after that click is interesting. The user’s web browser opens a web page which displays a message, above a spinning gear, that says Opening the iTunes Store. The browser eventually redirects to iTunes, which redirects back to the browser displaying a webpage showing information about the app. However, there is no way to purchase an app from this page. And there aren’t even any hints as to how one might go about this, such as suggesting that the user copy the URL and email it to him or herself to be able to access the information about this app on the iOS App Store.

To be clear, this is a Mac issue, an effect of the App Store being removed from iTunes. To see this for yourself, go to Safari on the Mac and hunt for an app link. For example, go to TouchArcade and scroll down, click on one of the App Store links.

For example, here’s a link to a game called CSR Racing 2.

If you click the link, one of two things will happen. Either you’ll be flipped back and forth a few times between Safari and iTunes as your Mac tries to follow a protocol that no longer works, or you’ll end on a Safari page with no way to make a purchase.

Either way, something big is broken here.