by James A. Martin Aims to Let You Download iOS Apps Directly from Websites

May 17, 20132 mins
iPadiPhone has developed an API that lets app creators post links to their iOS apps on websites so users can download them without visiting iTunes. blogger James A. Martin says the idea is a novel one, but it needs work.

I spend a lot of time researching apps on my Mac. And I love that the Google Play Store lets me send new apps directly from the desktop browser to my Android devices. Apple’s iTunes app store is behind the times in that respect, but could change that. has an API that lets app developers post links on their websites to directly download their apps. Publishers, for instance, could post links to iOS apps on their home pages. Then visitors would just type in Apple IDs and passwords, and the apps would automatically download to their registered iDevices.’s service is nascent, and you won’t yet find many of its links on websites. But you can get an idea of how it will work from’s site. Twitter, Pandora and Gmail are among the apps you can now download directly to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad from To do so, you’ll need to go into your iOS Settings and select iTunes & App Stores. Under “Automatic Downloads,” make sure “Apps” is turned on.

Downloading apps from’s site was hit or miss for me. Each time I attempted to download an app, I got a message that told me to “make sure to enable automatic downloads,” even though I’d already done that. I clicked “I’m Done,” then got an error message telling me to “Please try again.” I re-entered my Apple ID and clicked the “Download” button. Sometimes told me the app had already downloaded, and sometimes it had. Other times, I couldn’t get the download to happen at all. is a cool concept, and I hope it takes off. But based on my experience, the developer has some kinks to work out first.