There is nothing more frustrating than reading about a fantastic app for you iPhone or iPad, then logging into the app store only to find it is not available in your country.
Everyone’s app store is linked to the country where you registered your account, which means that even if you are a Brit in the US, you cannot download apps from the US app store because your account remains locked to the UK. And there are plenty of popular apps, which are only listed in the US store, as well as many regional-focused ones which are not universally available either.
As someone who travels a lot and writes about tech, this has been a source of constant annoyance to me. Not least because I have found myself unable to download the BBC iPlayer app on more than one occasion.
But fortunately, there is a simple process which allows you to work around this issue and download whichever app you want, even if it is not listed in your local app store.
This process is tried and tested in multiple countries and has never, so far, let me down.
How to Install Apple Apps that aren’t available in your country
I will explain how this process works, using as an example, downloading the BBC iPlayer app from outside the UK:
- First, you need to open up the app store app and then, if you are logged into your account, log out of it again.
- On the list of options which appears, scroll down the page until you see one which says Change Country. Click on this and then select the country you want to download an app from. In this case, you need to choose the UK.
- Now you can search for the BBC iPlayer app. When you try to install it, you will see a message requiring you to sign in with your Apple ID. At this point, rather than log in, you want to click Create New Account.
- Accept the terms and conditions, then enter new details. You will need to use a different email address from the one linked to your usual Apple ID.
- Under the Payment Methods section, chose None for the Credit Card. You will still need to enter a British address, but Apple is not very thorough in checking these, so any valid address in the country will suffice. A quick Google should turn one up.
- Once that is completed, Apple will send you a verification email. Click on the link in that email, and your new Apple ID should be up and running. Try to install the BBC iPlayer app again and you shouldn’t have any problems.
This same process will enable you to download any free app from any country around the world. Unfortunately, it does not work for paid-for apps as they require you to use a credit card registered in the same country too.
Using Apps That Aren’t Available in your Country’s app store
Successfully downloading apps that are not available in your own country is one thing, but getting them to work properly can be another.
Using the BBC iPlayer as an example again, it is impossible to use this streaming service outside the UK because it employs geo-restrictive technology to stop anyone outside the UK from using it. Many other apps do the same.
Fortunately, there is a way around this problem too. By using a VPN, and then connecting to a server located in the UK, it is possible to view the BBC iPlayer no matter where in the world you are.
This is because when you connect to a VPN server, the IP Address your internet data is tagged with changes to that of the server. As geo-restriction technology uses your IP Address to identify your location, if that server is based in the UK, it will think you are too.
Using this method, and a VPN, it is possible to download and use any free app you want, from anywhere in the world.