Apple has (unoffically) launched the iTunes Application store in the UK. The store currently contains nearly 28 pages of various applications designed for both the iTouch and iPhone (EDGE and 3G Versions) the 2.0 software has yet to be released but the Applications can be purchased, downloaded but not actually run. You can’t “simulate” an application on your computer, as some has hoped.
Oddly enough, Quite a few of the items on the store are actually books. For example in the states Amazon has the portable-reading device known as the Kindle. Books on the iTouch and iPhone (via the screenshots) appear to be quite readable and the iPhone/iTouch could be quite a nice Book reading platform.
Updates are arriving every few minutes, Screenshots being uploaded now. (A few already posted below.)
Update One: Here‘s the link to all Free Applications (Works for the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand shops.)
Update Two: Applications are locked down via Apple’s DRM Technology, FairPlay. I’m not sure of (if any) syncing restrictions or the license provided to you by default (for the number of authorised devices that allow you to sync applications on.) Quite a few major companies have applications / programmes on the AppStore already, Including (As pictured above.) BA (British Airways) which allow you for example to examine and check/lookup flights (and check timetables.) I’m also currently the only brit covering this story. WooHoo.
Update Three: Applications are priced between 79p and £20.00. The App Store will display *without* downloading the most recent version of iTunes (Version 7.7, Available at apple.com/uk/itunes/download) but Applications *will not sync* without this update! So I would suggest downloading the Disc Image now. Your still not able to download the iTouch/iPhone 2.0 Software update. I’m also wondering if iTouch users will be required to pay for this update. As some pages say
Update for iPod touch, sold separately.
Which indicates that iTouch users will most likely have to pay £10.00 – £20.00 for another software upgrade for our devices.
Update Four: Applications download as .ipa files, and are defined within the finder as “Apple Device Application Files” and must be opened in iTunes 7.7. Average file size on disc is between 15KB and 2.5MB per application. Which would make downloading directly from an iPhone or iTouch via WiFi, EDGE or o2’s 3G Network quite snappy. These applications are most likely *highly* compressed.
Update Five: Nothing more to report on as of this moment. But still watching and looking around. There are a few “cosmetic” faults with the store. As seen in the screenshot below. These appear on various pages within the store, And I’m guessing are just little bugs in the code (Going from local-development copies on apple devloper systems, To Online live copies on the actual UK Store.
Update Six: The live above also works on the iTunes New Zealand store, It actually may work on all locations which currently have a “hidden” App Store. I can confirm now it works on Both the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand stores. Applications are localized depending on which store you purchase from. (And each store uses its local currency. For example the UK Store uses Pound Sterling, Ireland store uses the Euro and the New Zealand store uses the NZ Dollar (I’m guessing, NZ $ – See below.)
Update Seven: A few games have been added to the store, So the App Store is obviously being updates from Cupertino. The few games that are on the store range in price from £5.99 to £7.99 and also include Standards compliant raitings. Which work with the iTunes Parental Control Centre in iTunes on both Mac and PC or the System-wide Parental Control Centre on Mac OS X 10.4 and above. Below are a few screen captures from Moto Racer, One of many games currently on the App Store.
Update Eight: The update to the 2.0 software will be free for iPhone owners and will cost roughly 5 quid for iTouch users. (or 9 dollars US for any American subscribers / readers.)