Apple’s App Store has become the standard way to get software for your Mac, iPhone and iPad. One click on the App Store app and you’re taken to a world of software.

But many people don’t venture far beyond the Top Paid, Top Free and Top Grossing charts. Unless something in the New & Noteworthy catches their eye, or they do a search for something they’ve heard about elsewhere.

This is a real shame, because there’s a wealth of great stuff on the App Store. And once you know a little bit about how it works you can really get the most from it. This guide is a collection of some of our best App Store tips and tricks.

See: How to change App Store to UK on iPhone

Search online instead of in the App Store

When you’re looking for something, don’t bother with the App Store search. It’s okay, but even the staunchest Apple fans concede that Google is better at search. And Apple opened up the information on its App Store with Apple Preview. You can use Google to search just the apple preview site using the following search term before your search:


This limits the search to just the Apple Preview, or the App Store. Try combining it with other Search Tools. Clicking Search Tools and Past 24 hours to see the new apps that arrived today. Combine with words like ‘Free’ and ‘Offer’ to see the best deals.  

Also: Six ways to master the Mac app store

Browse iTunes Preview in web browser

Here’s another quick web trick. You can access a large list of popular App Store software by clicking this link. It’s a large list of Apple Preview software and is great for getting a fast overview of what’s available in each category.

iTunes Preview

Follow App Store on Facebook and Twitter

If you want to know what’s happening on the App Store, especially when Apple is giving away free software, music or books. Then following Apple’s social media services is the way to do it. You can find the official App Store on Facebook here, and the App Store on Twitter here.

Free music

Music is pretty close to Apple’s heart, so it’s no surprise to find a lot of music promotions on the App Store. If you’re a keen music fan then be sure to check out Apple’s Single of the week page. Apple works with artists to offer a free music single download every week, it’s a great way to get some free tracks.

Free Music

Free Movies and Television shows

Unlike music it’s pretty rare to come across free movies and TV shows on iTunes. We guess the movie industry is a little more cautious than the music guys. Having said that don’t forget that there are lots of apps that enable you to watch free movies on your iOS device. Here are some to check out:

Crackle has the best list of free movies. Here’s some you can watch right now: An American Werewolf In London, Sol and The Breed are three movies you can watch right now.

Popcornflix. Watch Austin Powers right now for free using Popcornflix, like Crackle it’s another great range of films.

YouTube has gone beyond offering 30 second clips and now shows full movies. You can see a list of YouTube full length movies here

Apple’s 12 Days of Christmas seems to be the only time that full movies are given away for free. So keep an an eye out for it during December. They tend to be good though, Apple gave away two Toy Story Pixar Shorts last year.

Free books

Books is an area where free editions aren’t in short supply. Apple has incorporated a range of free books into the App Store, which can be accessed here. These are great, but they tend to be mostly classics. If you’re after something a little more contemporary try Apple’s Book Store Free For a Limited Time section. This has the books that are currently free.

Free Books

Get free apps on the app store

There are plenty of free apps available on the app store. But what happens if you want an app and it isn’t free. Here are a couple of tips.

  • Follow the developer on social media and be patient. Sooner or later they’ll do a special offer.

  • Request a code. Developers get 50 free codes with each update. If it’s a smaller developer and you ask them nicely (using social media or an email) they may send you a code for the app. Explain to them that you’ll write a good review in return. If they don’t have many reviews they’ll be grateful for the stars.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other App Store tips.

See: Free app give-away and get Rovio’s Bad Piggies Free This Week