The easiest way to create and share a link to an iOS, Mac app

Using the AppStore.com URL shortener, you can quickly and easily share a direct link to an app without having to launch the App Store to find it.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Launching iTunes, the App Store app, or the Mac App Store just to find an app, copy its direct link, and then send it to someone is a process we all accept. Sure, it doesn't take up too much time, but if you're sharing apps on a regular basis, the entire process adds up. But there's a quicker, easier way to share an App Store link with your fellow iOS and Mac users.

During the Super Bowl , the AppStore.com URL shortener made its official debut when the "Star Trek: Into Darkness" commercial used AppStore.com/StarTrekApp to direct iOS users to the official app.

On the surface, the new service from Apple looks like nothing more than a convenience for developers wanting to advertise their apps; which it essentially is, but there's more that can be done with it.

Looking over Apple's documentation covering how the URLs are created, you might begin to see how easy it would be to share a direct link to your favorite apps.

All you need to know is the name of the app or developer, and you can add it to the end of the URL. For example, if you wanted to send someone a link to the CNET app, you can send AppStore.com/CNET, which will then open the App Store directly to the CNET app in iTunes, or the App Store app on an iOS device.

CNET is an easy example, as the name of the app is a single word. If the name of the app you want to share is more than one word, you simply remove any spaces. Sending a link for iA Writer would look something like: AppStore.com/iAWriter. But wait, iA Writer has both an iOS and Mac app. If you're wanting to share the Mac version of iA Write, the URL would look like this: AppStore.com/Mac/iAWriter. Just replace the app name at the end of the URL with the app you want to link to.

This is not to say the link for any app is going to be short and sweet. In fact, some of the links are going to be more work than they're worth. The popular Twitter app, Tweetbot, is a great example. AppStore.com/Tweetbot doesn't link directly to the Tweetbot Twitter client. Instead it links to another app with the name of Tweetbot. So, now what?

Well, the official listing name of the iPhone version of Tweetbot in the App Store is "Tweetbot for Twitter (iPhone & iPod touch)." So if you wanted to send a link using the method above directly to this app, you'd have to send AppStore.com/TweetbotforTwitteriPhoneandiPodtouch.

Instead of hunting down the exact name of the app as it's listed in iTunes, you can link directly to the developer. AppStore.com/tapbots would take you to a listing of all the iOS apps made by Tapbots, including both versions of Tweetbot on iOS.

The App Store links for an iOS app will launch the App Store on an iOS device, or iTunes on a computer. The Mac links naturally won't work on an iOS device, but will open the Mac App Store on a Mac.

So the next time a friend asks you for a link to an app you've been talking about, or you just want to share it on Twitter, remember this shortcut.

 

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