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God bless those rumors, they were right on the mark yet again. Although the online Apple Store is down at this writing after being crushed by overnight iPhone 4 and updated Mac mini orders, an official Apple Store app has indeed appeared in the App Store and is available to download now.
MacRumors is reporting that the official Apple Store app has appeared and is now available for download, absolutely free. Strangely, the app is not universal -- it’s only optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch, although it should run just fine on the iPad in pixel-doubled mode.
At this exact moment in time, the app is fairly useless, unfortunately -- it just brings up the same yellow “We’ll be back soon” sticky feature on Apple.com, following an early crush of iPhone 4 and updated Mac mini orders overnight. But that should resolve itself soon enough and then you can get to conveniently browsing the Apple Store right in the palm of your hand.
“Tap the Apple Store app on your iPhone or iPod touch, and you can do all things Apple,” the iTunes description promises. “Buy Apple products and accessories, read customer reviews, find an Apple Retail Store, stay up to date with in-store events and make Personal Shopping, Genius Bar or One to One appointments.”
Among the features listed on the App Store page:
- See new and featured products from Apple.
- Shop the full selection of products available from the Apple Online Store.
- Find the latest accessories and software.
- Read customer reviews and get answers to product questions.
- Buy or reserve a new iPhone with just a few taps.
- Locate any Apple Retail Store in the world, instantly.
- Make Personal Shopping, Genius Bar, and One to One appointments.
- Sign up for workshops and events at your favorite Apple Retail Store.
Of course, the real question here is, “What took Apple so long?” since this app seems like it should have been there when the App Store first launched in 2008 with iPhone OS 2.0. Be that as it may, we’re happy to have it now… that is, when the Apple Store itself finally gets back to working again, that is…
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter