FutureTap - Smart iPhone Apps

The FutureBlog

July 9, 2012 by Ortwin Gentz

Revised App Store Featured Entry Scraper

Our FileMaker database where we import rankings and featured entries for each day and country

News from our little tool to monitor the App Store for featured entries: Thanks to Dominik Wagner from TheCodingMonkeys, the script to scrape App Store Featuring entries gained a noticeable speed bump. Using multi threading it now completes in 16 seconds, down from 36 seconds!

The script detects the following featured entries and prints them in one line per country:

  • TOP STAGE: App or Game of the Week, aka winning the lottery jackpot
  • Home page: mentioned somewhere on the root level homepage, including the Top 10 rankings
  • New and Noteworthy page: This is more or less identical to the home page. Depending on the country, the extra page may contain some more apps.
  • What’s Hot page
  • Any other page linked the same way (with selection box on the homepage)
  • Category page: mentioned somewhere on the category page, including the Top 10 rankings
  • Category “New”
  • Category “What’s Hot”

How to call the script

To start the script you just need the iTunes ID of the app, the category and “iPhone” or “iPad” depending on which store you want to check:

./iTunesFeatured.pl 314785156 Navigation iPhone
09.08.2011  AE  App Store: Home page, Staff Favourites  Navigation: Home p…
09.08.2011  AR  App Store: Home page, Staff Favourites  Navigation: Home p…
09.08.2011  AT  App Store: TOP STAGE, Home page  Navigation: Home page

The output is structured as a tab-delimited text with columns for date, country, root level mentions and category mentions. This makes it easy to import the output into a spreadsheet, database or anything else.

Download iTunes FeaturedCheck on GitHub.

Update 11.07.2012: Fixed an issue with sub pages, decode HTML entities
Update 07.11.2012: Fixed an issue after a recent iTunes change

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