Panic Blog

From the desk of
Engineering Dept.

Check App Store Updates With a URL

When something new goes live at Panic, the first to know about it are the dedicated followers of our Twitter account.

And when we tell people there’s something new, like a software update, we really like to provide a specially crafted URL that will allow that person to get said update with one click. We built this functionality into Transmit and Unison, and it makes for a great Twitter experience: here’s a new thing, click here to get it, boom, done.

When the Mac App Store was in beta, I was really hoping for something similar — a simple way to notify a user of an App Store update, with a link to take them to the update in one click.

This is where I tell you something amazing: I filed a bug with Apple and made this specific feature request, even proposing the URL format, and Apple added it to the App Store a couple versions later. The system worked!

So now I’ll reveal the secret to you. To send your users to Mac App Store updates, use this URL:

  1. macappstore://showUpdatesPage

That’s it. You can see it at work here:

(We built a redirector since URL shorteners don’t like funky URL types.) And that’s all there is to it.

Posted at 3:26 pm 20 Comments

Again, Panic improves an already great system. You guys rock.

Matias Vad

12/13/2011 4:08 PM

Oh wow, that is awesome. You really are making a difference in this world.

12/13/2011 4:22 PM

Opera v11.60 doesn’t support this new URL type.
It shows only “Now opening App Store…” page.

Silvio Santos

12/13/2011 8:45 PM

coda it’s a great app, but it’s very expensive
if more people can buy, more popular you’ll be.

please, review the final cost.

Andy Reitz

12/13/2011 8:58 PM

Nice embedded Tweet!

Johnny C-L

12/13/2011 9:33 PM

That gets me here:
and no further.
But that was clicking the link from inside Flipboard on an iPad.

Johnny: Yeah, you can’t really open the Mac App Store on an iPad. :)

That says more about Opera than anything else, it should be able to handle any protocol type deferring to the operating system if it is unable to handle the request as almost any other browser would. Good to know however. Perhaps you could raise a feature request with Opera?

@johnny perhaps your redirect page should have a user agent detector and send the user to a notification page with links to the static pages like these:

Carole Carter

12/15/2011 6:23 AM

The Panic Team = Awesome-ness!

Jonathan Deutsch

12/15/2011 11:38 AM

Did you test this against Snow Leopard (10.6.6+)? It does not work for me on 10.6.8, the App Store simply shows a blank page with the spinning gear which is what it appears to do for any url it does not recognize.

I would alternatively prefer Apple to show an “Update” button on the application page (instead of the current “Installed”) if there’s a new version available, so we could just send them to our app page.

Jonathan: Sorry, I should have been specific when I said Apple added it “a couple of versions later”. I believe it only works in Lion.

Do you guys know of any other built-in app URI redirectors? I’m pretty interested in opening System Preferences programmatically (perhaps even with page designators? like /sharing or /accessibility or some such).

Nice, great tip, was looking for this. Thanks!

Is there an equivalent link for the iOS App Store updates page?

When is coda going to fix the FTP issues of Transmit and Coda! I love the design of your products but the success of FTP is so inconsistent. Please help!

New Zealand Mart

1/24/2012 9:19 PM

Do really appreciate of your nice work done

Feeeeed us with some news ;) Where are you with Coda2? I need a new toy in my computer…


6/24/2014 3:12 PM

Hey Panic Blogger:

I am about to release app version 2.0 to the App Store. What is the best strategy for informing my existing user base there is an app update available? Does the App Store handle alerting users? Or do I need to embed a call within my app that compares the installed app version -vs- the app store version? If later: please provide syntax details about that call. And a link.

Thank you SO MUCH!

At last! Someone with the insight to solve the prbmleo!