It appears some iPad users are seeing a bug in the iOS App Store that prevents them from being able to locate and download iPhone-only apps. When using an iPad to search for an app that's only available on the iPhone like Instagram or Snapchat, results do not list iPhone-only apps even when the "iPhone Only" filter is turned on.

For example, in a search for "Snapchat" on an iPad Air 2 with the "iPhone Only" option selected, the results that are displayed include only universal apps made by third-party companies. The actual Snapchat app does not come up in the results at all, preventing it from being installed on an iPad. A test for several other iPhone-only apps revealed the same search error.

snapchatbadsearchresults
It is not clear when this App Store search bug started, but we first saw an issue last night and a MacRumors reader alerted us to the problem this morning. It is also not clear if all users are experiencing the issue, but each of the iPads we tested failed to bring up the proper search results.

It's likely this is an error that Apple will fix shortly, and while iPhone only apps can't be downloaded via search, they're still available in the list of purchased apps. Installing an iPhone-only app on the iPad can be done by installing it on an iPhone first and then downloading it on the iPad from the purchased list. It's also possible to search for the app in Safari to get a direct link to it in the App Store.

(Thanks Tim!)

Top Rated Comments

t0mat0 Avatar
91 months ago
If Apple can filter results like this, what the heck is stopping them from filtering out old non-updated apps, or those built to an old OS?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sevarre Avatar
91 months ago
This actually sounds more like a useful feature.

Logically, if an app is only for the iPhone, then why clutter the listings on devices that the app is not designed to run on.

Same as if an app is only designed to work with the latest iPad and won't run on my phone, then it's a waste of my time to have to see it in the listings and realize it won't work on my device.

Sounds like a useful feature that should go from being a bug, to becoming standard operating procedure.
But you can download iPhone-only apps onto your iPad, just not the other way around. If you mean don't allow iPhone only apps to be downloaded onto iPads, I disagree and think most people disagree. I run many iPhone only apps on my iPad.

Pretty sure that any app that you are able to view in the iOS AppStore is able to be downloaded on the device you are using to view it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
91 months ago
The screenshots are from iOS 9 (you can tell by looking at the system font). It's beta, so...
This particular screenshot is from iOS 9, but this was also tested on iPads that are not running beta software. Good eye though, you know your system fonts :p
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
flyinmac Avatar
91 months ago
This actually sounds more like a useful feature.

Logically, if an app is only for the iPhone, then why clutter the listings on devices that the app is not designed to run on.

Same as if an app is only designed to work with the latest iPad and won't run on my phone, then it's a waste of my time to have to see it in the listings and realize it won't work on my device.

Sounds like a useful feature that should go from being a bug, to becoming standard operating procedure.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
QuarterSwede Avatar
91 months ago
As an aside, I've always found it annoying I can't view iPad apps on my iPhone. Just because I'm looking at the App Store on my phone doesn't mean I don't have an iPad too.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
91 months ago
As if the mobile gaming press didn't have it hard enough with App Store rankings ('https://www.macrumors.com/2015/06/24/app-store-disparity-developers-gaming-websites/'), reviewers who own iPads won't be able view iPhone only apps. :p
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...