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The {appler} package is a wrapper around Apple’s App Store Search API. This allows the user to pull information about artists, applications, and anything else available on iTunes or the Apple App Store.

Other functions are included to allow the pulling of information not included in the search API such as application reviews and split of ratings.

The first thing to do is find the ID of the entity you are analysing. The search_apple function will use Apple’s API to return any items that are related to the search terms entered. By default it pulls tracks and audiobooks, however with the entity parameter we can specify we want to search for artists or applications.

# Artist ID can be obtained from the artistId column
taylor_swift_songs <- search_apple("Taylor Swift")

taylor_swift <- search_apple("Taylor Swift", media = "music", entity = "musicArtist")

taylor_swift_id <- taylor_swift$artistId

Applications are slightly different, where they instead of artistId, trackId is used to store the unique ID.

github_tracks <- search_apple("GitHub")

github_app <- search_apple("GitHub", media = "software", entity = "software")
# Over 50 apps are returned, however the top is the official GitHub app
github_app_id <- github_app$trackId[1]

When searching software, a lot more information is returned, such as application metadata (size, version, release notes) and average rating. Use str(github_app) to take a look at everything included.

Alternatively the ID can be found in the URL.

For artists and tracks it can be found as the last part of the URL. For example, to find out about Taylor Swift the ID is 159260351 (from, or her latest album Midnights is 1650841512 (from

For applications it is almost the same, however it is prefixed with “id” which will need to be removed when using functions from {appler}. For example the ID for GitHub is 1477376905 (from

Apple Store Lookup

If you already have the ID, you can use lookup_apple and it will return the same information as search_apple but for the specific entity chosen.

taylor_swift_lookup <- lookup_apple(taylor_swift_id)


Once you have the ID, you can get to the interesting part: the reviews. Apple has an RSS feed that enables you to pull the latest 500 reviews for an application, along with information such as the version that was being reviewed, and what rating was given by the user.

There is a limitation that you can only pull the reviews for a single country, and by default the reviews from the US will be returned, however any ISO-2 country code can be used. If the app isn’t available in that country, then there will be a 400 error.

github_reviews <- get_apple_reviews(github_app_id)


One extra piece of functionality available in {appler} is the ability to scrape the rating split from the App Store. Whilst the average rating for the app is available in search_apple, it is useful to know how many 5* ratings are given and how many 1* ratings are given.

github_ratings <- get_apple_rating_split(github_app_id)