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
97 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
97 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
97 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
97 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
97 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
97 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)

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