Apple has recently updated its App Store Preview pages for stories to allow users to view the full content of stories from inside their desktop web browser. App Store stories have always been shareable as links, but the web version was just a title and a navigation link to ‘open this story in the App Store’.
Between August 9th and August 11th, Apple has upgraded the experience and now includes full imagery, app lists and paragraphs copy in the web version. This means you can access the same content online as you would be ale to find in the native App Store experience.
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To find a link for an App Store story, open the App Store on your iOS device or Mac. Open a story article in the Today view and scroll to the bottom. There will be a ‘Share Story’ button which lets you copy the URL or send it on using the share sheet.
Opening these links on an iPhone or iPad will automatically launch the App Store to the native content view. Until recently, if you opened the same link on a desktop browser, it would show the title of the editorial, the hero image, and maybe a one-line description with a direction to see the full experience in the actual App Store.
Now, users can see almost every element of the in-app experience in the webpage. This includes sections, app lists, screenshots with captions and the actual text of the article.
You can see the difference in the screenshot comparison above; old on the left, new on the right. The web preview would previously include links to a couple of the mentioned apps in the piece. Now, the full content of the article is readable from inside the Safari browser. The new design is a two-column layout with the complete title card (exactly as it would be shown inside the App Store Today feed) on the left and the article on the right.
Whilst we can’t pinpoint an exact date, based on web archive cache results, it seems Apple rolled out this change over the weekend. Whilst you still cannot access the App Store front page from the web, or buy apps through the browser, if you see someone share an App Story story about an app you might be interested in, it’s now a much nicer experience to interact with that article from a Mac.
Apple has been gradually upgrading its web offerings across this year, including new more-friendly URL domains (like apps.apple.com, books.apple.com and podcasts.apple.com). We also saw big changes to the Podcasts web experience debut in April, including the ability to actually listen to podcast episodes through an integrated Apple Podcasts web player.