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This may be a question for the developers of those apps, but I figure there may be a public API or something which I wasn't aware of, making this question on-topic.

iOS apps and websites such as AppShopper and AppZapp have the ability to monitor changes to the App Store, such as price drops and updates. How can they do this?

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closed as off topic by bmike Mar 18 '12 at 20:11

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I suspect they are scraping the http data that is served up using http from Apple's store to iTunes client and App store client although it is possible they are paying people to run these apps and somehow capturing the traffic using a web proxy and filtering software. What is the problem you are trying to solve here? –  bmike Mar 18 '12 at 19:57
    
@bmike That makes sense… There's no problem, I'm just curious. –  timothymh Mar 18 '12 at 19:59
    
It looks like you are looking for a discussion (off topic for the site - fine in chat) and not actually looking to solve a problem. It's sometimes a fine line when you want to know more, but I didn't want to just close this if you had some problem at hand and could edit that into the question to make this both on topic and a good question for an answer. Questions about how a peripheral service provider works is already only tangentially related so I'm looking to make this substantially better before we would want to reopen it... –  bmike Mar 18 '12 at 20:02
    
@bmike Since when do questions need to be looking for solutions to problems? –  timothymh Mar 18 '12 at 20:12
    
In the FAQ - You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Hit me up in chat and we can talk this over. I'm not saying you can't ask this - I'd like to make it better so you can get something useful to others. –  bmike Mar 18 '12 at 20:22

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