Not Available in YOUR App Store?

I watched the recent Apple iPhone commercial, the one featuring Loopt that promised to keep me in stronger, better, faster contact with all my similarly teched-out friends, and immediately fired my iPhone to download it.

But guess what? It didn't show up in the App Store. Dieter was kind enough to send me a direct link, so I clicked on that, and know what happened? I got a pop-up telling me Loopt wasn't available in the Canadian App Store.

So, either we Canucks have no friends to stay in contact with, Loopt has yet to expand their offering to our frozen shores, or Apple didn't bother to make a commercial with wider appeal than AT&T's network coverage (or all of the above?)

In a global village, is it odd that an App isn't just an App, and often medieval licensing rights prevent real parity in services?

For our international readers, any other Apps you've been unable to get due simply to where you live? Any Americans ever come across an App you couldn't get?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 34 comments. Add yours.

Tim says:

I think the micro surface app might be the same, as in the UK me and my friend have been unable to locate it even when 2 or 3 websites have reviewed it

marcol says:

'tis true of the UK too. Some apps only make sense in one country but that's not the policy at play - there are plenty of apps in the UK store that really are pretty useless to anyone here (US TV listings for example). I have a suspicion (probably based on something I read) that the developer, rather than Apple, gets to decide on availability.
Btw, any chance TiPb might practice what it preaches and globalise its competitions?

Manuel R. Ciosici says:

I live in Romania and I can't install Google Earth. It's more than annoying no to be able to, isn't the Earth the same here?

Bruce says:

no Games in the South African app store, and tons of other apps aren't available. every day I click links to useful apps only to see that very pop-up. highly annoying

ed says:

I searched for an app called trains today that gives live info regarding the uk rail service only to be told it was not available in the UK appstore. WTF?

Zyber Joe says:

In the us Subway Lite was not available for a while... It is now...

ed_training says:

Actually, there are a lot of apps blocked in my country(PE).
If forced to have a 2 accounts one for free apps in US, and other account at my country for $$ apps.
For example, the radio apps, maybe its for some policies, and its ok.
BUT, why not bring the updates for apps in all countries?...
Connected from iphone:
US Store: 11 updates
PE Store: 0 updates

Fred Zelders says:

Several Apps not avalable in the Dutch AppStore :-(

Mike says:

There was one other Loopt user in Barcelona when I visited-- maybe he got his app in the US though.
I imagine some applications like Pandora have to be US only because of the licensing restrictions on music. (interestingly however-- Pandora mobile worked when I was in Spain even though the site wouldn't.)

Chris says:

It's a similar case with tethering: AT&T prohibits it and everyone has to suffer - including users in Canada for which it's perfectly legal to tether with their Rogers/Fido 6GB data plan.

FJR says:

I am pretty sure the developer gets to choose where his apps are available.

frog says:

Plenty of apps not available in Australia.

Dalekkiller says:

Exactly the same problem with loopt - not available in the UK. What annoys me is the fact that Apple advertises top apps on its home page but they're not available in my store. As Marcol says, there are a lot of US location apps in the UK store (usually traffic camera or gas station apps) and I've lost count of the number of times I've emailed developers about diabetes apps that don't use UK units!
It does annoy me when apps are clearly aimed at US users - it's as if the rest of the world doesn't count! By the way, the micro surface app certainly was available in the UK as I've got it. Finally, I agree that TiPB competitions should be open to all countries.

Guy says:

I'm still waiting for the official Last.fm app to be available in Belgium ... up til now ... it's a no go ...

OCDC says:

Pandora is not available in Canada either, but at least we have LastFm. As far as tethering; I agree, AT&T shouldn't have control over the App Store offerings in Canada, needless to say, PDANet was my only option to use up the other 5GBs I was paying for but not using.

nikhil says:

just create a us account for free apps. Australia has most of the us apps besides some radio and social ones

spiros says:

same in Greece with a lot of apps including sadly last.fm.on the other hand thought they haven't bothered to give us a Greek keyboard....0

MikeC says:

Like Bruce, I'm in South Africa we have only a small section of the apps, this sucks !! No games, No Google Earth, not many of the cool apps. I also have 2 iTunes a/c (paid here and then another for free apps from another store) but this proves a bit of a nightmare to get keep current with updates.
Seems a stupid arrangement, I'd rather have all apps and then decide if one is relevant to me.

grant says:

If you're looking for a free app to connect friends with your location in Canada and the US check out zhiing. zhiing will be available to the UK after the first of the year and Europe. zhiing currently works on iPhone and Blackberry.
After the 19th of November, Nokia N-Series and in January Android and Windows Mobile will be supported. You can send messages with locations from the desktop too with the Firefox and IE add-on. zhiing is new but worth a look.

Luca says:

Here in germany it's perfectly legal to tether but since AT&T does not allow it in the US we all have to suffer! WTF?!?!

pierluigi says:

The italian App Store has almost everything, except for apps like Loopt of course, Pandora, AOL Radio and MLB at bat. Shortly after the launch I created a second account on the Us store and the gift cards sold on ebay can be a great solution.

Noel says:

I'm from India and majorly upset that a whole bunch of apps are not available in the India Itunes store, case in point the Google app and Google Earth. And of course, we still arent able to biy music here. Sad.

Andrei says:

Same thing happened to me today! After watching the loopt commercial on apple.com, I have decided to try it out.. But in the Austrian store it is unfortunately also not yet available :(

Sham says:

We in India can't get Shazam, Google Earth and many more. I have personally come across at least 10 apps which are not available in India.

John says:

I'm a Canadian living in the states and I've come across this many times as my iTunes account is linked to the Canadian store. I've just created an account linked to the US store and when I come across this issue I just login via that account, download the app, login back to my Canadian account and sync the app. So if an app is for a country you can't access just create an account for that country and you're good to go.

John says:

Actually I forgot about the whole billing address part of it which I have billing addresses and credit cards in both countries. So this method won't work unless you have multiple billing addresses as well. Sorry for the waste of space....

Theo says:

I HAVE FOUND A SOLUTION:
Go onto iTunes store, at the bottom of the page change the location to whatever the app you want to download is based in, then find that app, and click buy app, a message should pop up saying this app isnt available in this country, press ok to be taken to your local app store (something along those lines), press ok but then stop it from loading by pressing the little x by the loading bit, then click buy app again and it should download :)
This worked for me on windows, I discovered it by accident.

Ethan says:

i found a free guitar app called PlayGuitar and its not available in canada or america does anyone know where it might be located???? or another free guitar app...not tuner??????

Jonathan says:

This cool app called Memory Stick that is free for a limited time, not available in the states.

Tom Goodman says:

I checked out imExchange (with imTasks and imNotes) last week, and now this week, I'm told its not available in the iTunes U.S. store.

Jerónimo says:

No Google in Argentina either. Pandora I understand, but Google?

what says:

where are you getting your information from, jeronimo?
there IS google in argentina. try google.com.ar

Bross71 says:

I am an australian developer and my app is not available in Australia. Have emailed apple regarding how to fix

Cyrus Driver says:

I can use Google Earth on my PC but I can't dl it on my Iphone cuz it's not on the Indian App store that sucks. The Iphone is a great device but some of Apples policies as a company are F***ed up.