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Updated Apple Store iPhone app allows build to order Mac purchases

Apple on Monday updated its "Apple Store" application for the iPhone, offering the ability to order a custom Mac, and also more quickly receive help when at a retail store.

The free application (iTunes link) is currently available on the App Store. Version 1.3 is a 3.2MB download, and is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. It requires iOS 4.0 or later.

The release of the software coincides with the debut of Apple's improved retail stores, which were upgraded on Sunday. The company now makes use of interactive iPad displays to provide product information, pricing and features.

According to Apple, new features of Apple Store 1.3 are:
  • Enhanced in-store mode lets you get help and support quickly when you're at an Apple Retail Store.
  • The ability to custom-configure a new Mac with the options you want.

Using the new application, users can make modifications and upgrades to a Mac order placed from their iPhone. For example, users can add more RAM or upgrade the hard drive of a Mac before they finalize their order — features that were previously only available on Apple's website.

The software is still only written for the iPhone and iPod touch, prompting some initial negative reviews from users in the App Store. Though the application can be run on an iPad, as all iOS software can, it is not optimized for the screen size and resolution of the touchscreen tablet.

"It's the best way to get the most from the Apple Store — whether you're on the go or at the store," Apple's description reads. "Wherever you are, you can research and buy products, read reviews, make Genius Bar and One to One appointments, view in-store events, and more. And when you're in an Apple Retail Store, you can request help, receive meet-up alerts, and more."

Apple Store


Rumors of the updated iPhone application first surfaced on Saturday, revealing that the software was set to debut as part of Apple's retail revamp. Apple's online store went offline on Friday to also prepare for the changes.

The Apple Store application was first released in June of 2010. With it, users can view products, read customer reviews, locate a nearby Apple Retail Store, and buy or reserve devices like the iPhone.