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Apple's AppStore.com makes stealth Super Bowl debut

Apple now lets developers create vanity domains in its long-held AppStore.com domain as a way to jump quickly to apps. We find this out in a "Star Trek: Into Darkness" ad.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

Apple may not have its own Super Bowl ad today, but the company quietly launched a new product effort during someone else's ad spot.

At the end of the commercial for the upcoming "Star Trek: Into Darkness" film, Paramount flashed a quick promotion for its iOS app, complete with an AppStore.com link that takes people right to it. In function it's identical to what Apple already uses through its iTunes links, but this one's designed so that people can quickly type it into a mobile device or remember it for later.

Whatever's after AppStore.com can be changed by developers, which in this case is AppStore.com/StarTrekApp. Developers can pick this out when submitting an app, or plug their company name into it to do a search for multiple apps on the App Store.

The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously acquired AppStore.com as a personal gift from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff following the introduction of the digital store during a keynote in 2008. The company is currently fighting a legal battle with Amazon and others for the exclusive rights to use the name to describe its digital software store on iOS and OS X.

Update at 7:18 p.m. PT: Apple's put up an info page for developers here, which shows that these URLs can be tweaked between iOS and Mac, as well as between companies and individual apps.