Apple's App Store within the iTunes store has revolutionized the way users expect to find and install applications on their mobile phones, but it is also a bit of a resource hog and it often takes quite a while before pages finally load.
Now, however, thanks to an online version of the App Store which scrapes the content of the store in iTunes, you can quickly browse for applications, read reviews, and see screenshots from any computer that has access to the Internet without ever having to open iTunes.
This online version of the App Store, which is clearly not sanctioned by Apple, runs on Google's App Engine.
As Amit Agarwal notes, Apple uses a rather cryptic XML format for delivering the pages in iTunes. However, the developers of the online App Store have found a way to decrypt these XML files and render them as regular HTML.
Of course, there are some limitations to this approach. You can't, for example, install apps without using iTunes at some point. The online App Store also doesn't have a search function.
Will Apple Shut it Down?
Of course, given Apple's litigious nature, we don't know if this version of the App Store will be around for a very long time, but it's a great resource if you just want to link to an app in the store, for example, without your users having to open the desktop iTunes app (which, after all, is not available on all operating systems).