If you’ve ever been sent a link to an app on the Mac App Store and tried to open it on your iPhone and iPad, you’d know how annoying it is when instead of showing any information about the app, the iOS App Store displays a generic Mac App Store banner as shown in the screenshot above.
We show you two ways by which you can bypass this annoying banner and see the icon, description and price of Mac apps right on your iPhone and iPad.
Chrome or other third party browsers
Apple relies on your browser’s user agent string to redirect you to the banner when you click on a Mac App Store link. So if you spoof your user agent to that of a desktop browser, Apple will be fooled into believing that the link is being accessed from a PC or Mac, and will show you the standard web preview of the app. While Mobile Safari doesn’t let you change your user agent string, a lot of other third party browsers have this feature built in, including the most popular third party browser Chrome. By hitting the “Request Desktop Site” button, Chrome sends a desktop browser user agent string to Apple’s servers, thus allowing you to see information of the app. Other browsers that let you do this are Dolphin, iCab, Atomic etc.
You can also use this trick to see previews of iPad apps on your iPhone or iPod touch.
An iOS app by the name of “Desktop apps” gives you most features of the Mac App Store (without the option to purchase of course) on your iOS device. You can see the top (free, paid, grossing) charts, browse Mac apps by category and even search for a specific app.
In the app description view, you can see the app’s screenshots, the entire description, the rating and the price. You can also share Mac app URLs through email, Facebook and Twitter but surprisingly not via iMessage.
Although the app doesn’t exactly solve the Mac App Store links on iOS problem, it’s a nice way to look up Mac apps on the go, when you’re not near your desktop or laptop.
The app is free with ads, but you have the option of removing ads via a $0.99 in-app purchase.
➤ Desktop Apps – Free
➤ Chrome – Free