I just noticed something in iTunes 9 which I’m sure has been there in previous versions. But since it was new to me, it might be new to a few of you as well.
At the bottom of the top-level pages in the iTunes Store there is a collection of text links. The last link in the last column is called Change Country. When you click on that link you get to select a country from a large list. After you click on a country you will now be viewing the iTunes Store for that country.
Why is this useful for iPhone developers?
- You can see the ranking of your apps in other countries.
- You can see which apps are most popular in other countries.
- You can read reviews of your apps from other countries.
- You can see which apps have localized app descriptions.
At the bottom right corner of the top-level iTunes Store pages there is a round flag icon that indicates which country store you are currently in. Clicking on this icon has the same function as clicking on the Change Country link. This can be useful to know since the Change Country link is often localized to the language of country you’re viewing. So it’s not always easy to know which text link to click to get back to a language you can read…
Some interesting observations:
- The iTunes Store is available in 76 countries. The iPhone is available in 86 countries. Does that mean people in 10 countries do not have access to the App Store? I’m guessing that countries like French West Indies, Reunion Island and U.S. Virgin Islands where the iPhone is available, use their “parent” country’s iTunes Store. Can any of my international readers confirm this?
- The App Store top lists, New & Noteworthy, What’s Hot and Staff Favorites are all unique to each country store.
- The top lists in music are much more homogeneous than the App Store lists. I guess the music labels still have some global marketing clout. Who is going to take on this role for apps?
- The iTunes Store only has 7 official languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish. So you will only see app descriptions in these languages. (The iTunes UI is localized to many more languages than these.)
- There is an exception to the rule of app descriptions in only 7 languages. If you have an app that is only available in your own language (not English) you can write the app description in that language in the place of English in iTunes Connect, and then only make the app available in your country’s App Store.
- You cannot login to a foreign iTunes Store with your existing iTunes account. Therefore you cannot purchase apps or write reviews. (It is possible to create an iTunes account without a credit card. This also works after you select a foreign country. But in order to purchase anything you need to have a valid billing address in that country. So the utility of this technique is limited.)
Did you know about this iTunes feature already? What have you used it for?