App Store Adventures

It all started with a mistake, that’s fully admitted. I was browsing a web site that had some app recommendations. Tapping one app icon on the site opened the App Store app that in turn told me that the item was not available in the German Store. Oh, and whether I wished to switch to the U.S. store.

Thanks, no. Somehow (and here comes the mistake part) my tap was a bit too much off-center and registered with the “yes, switch me over” button.

Welcome to the U.S. store.

At least, that’s what it looked like. Instead of naming the price of an app in € the labels all had a $ on it. At this point, it was totally safe for me to assume that the switch actually happened.

I struggled with a faint memory of a similar incident a couple of years ago: there had to be a way to switch back immediately, and got confirmation by the fast-reacting @AppleSupport Twitter account. Kudos, I was really impressed by the prompt reaction.

Unfortunately, I was still unable to follow the advice: In order to proceed into the “Country/Region” section of my Apple Id properties dialog, I was told that first I would have to cancel my ongoing Apple Music subscription and then wait until it expired. Which would not happen before (you guessed it) end of February.

Great!

As an aside, I really don’t understand why tapping on “Country/Region” results in the information that I can’t switch without cancelling Apple Music instead of just telling me what my current region is. If this were the case and Settings.app had informed me about my current region the whole issue would have been over by then (I have filed a radar).

Frustrated, I called Apple support on the phone and was quickly connected to a support person who, after listening to my story, confirmed to my surprise that the switch had actually never happened. According to the support person, I was positively still on the German Store.

And yet, this information was somehow at odds with the fact that the App Store app on my phone insisted on app prices in $ instead of €.

So I did what I was supposed to do in this situation: reboot the phone. Still: $.

I went to my iPad, launched the App Store app and watched all the little € appear in the place where they are supposed to appear. This was another reassuring indication that the switch really never happened. But how on earth would I be able to get my phone back to my native currency.

After some time, I wondered what would happen if I tried to purchase an app on (what still seemed to me) the U.S. App Store.

Here’s the thing: after confirming my intention to buy a random app I was informed that this app was not available on the U.S. App Store and, hallelujah, whether I wanted to switch to the German App Store.

Yes, sure. Please do it. Can’t wait.

Now that everything is back to where it belongs I’m still struggling to understand what was happening. It seemed that the App Store app initiated the switch which, however, was immediately deflected by my existing Apple Music subscription.

But somehow the App Store app had convinced itself that the switch went through and it would only be able to get back on track when an actual purchase transaction was attempted.

Whatever, I’m pleased that this adventure turned out well. Apple support in Ireland (yes, you apparently get connected to Ireland if you call from Germany) deserves an honorary mention for the crucial confirmation that my account was never actually moved.

I can’t help ending with the clever conclusion that if you want your iOS devices to prevent your account from inadvertently switching to a different App Store: buy an Apple Music subscription!

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