For some games and apps on iPhone and iPad, the developers do something called a “soft launch.” This means they release the app only in certain countries to test things out before they launch it worldwide. Free-to-play games in particular, like Clash Royale, often become available in Canada and New Zealand before they do in the U.S. But if you’re dying to check out a new iOS game or app that’s not available where you live, here’s how you can do it.
Before we get into it, you should know that it’s kind of a pain to do. But sometimes getting your hands on the hot new app is worth the trouble. Here goes.
1. Open iTunes on a computer
Unfortunately, this doesn’t work from your iPhone or iPad.
2. Sign out of your account
In the upper right corner of iTunes, you’ll see your name with a little down arrow next to it. Click the arrow to reveal a drop-down menu. At the bottom of the menu, you’ll see “Sign Out.” Click it.
3. Change your country
In the Apps section of the iTunes Store, scroll to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see a country flag indicating which region’s store you’re in. Click it, and select the country lucky enough to have the game or app you want. If you’re just doing this for fun and want to maximize your early access to games, go with Canada or New Zealand. Click the country, and voila! that country’s iTunes Store appears.
4. Click to download a free app
Find a free app — any one will do — and click to download it. Easy peasy.
5. Create a new Apple ID
You’ll be prompted to sign in, but you’ll also see a button that says “Create New Apple ID.” Click it. Read every word of the user agreement (or not), and then click Accept.
Here’s one of the annoying parts. You can’t use an email address that’s already registered to an iTunes account, so you’ll have to use another one. If you don’t have another email address, you’ll have to create one.
Fill in the next fields however you want. When it asks for your credit card, select None. When you come to the billing section, you do have to enter a valid city and postal code. An easy way to do that is to find a city on Google Maps, search for a hotel, and use that address.
6. Verify your email address
Go to the email account you used, find the verification email, and click the “verify now” link. Log in, and you’re verified.
7. Log into your new Apple ID on your phone
Now that your account is set up, you’re almost done. In the App Store on your iPhone, scroll down to the bottom of the home page and tap on your Apple ID. Select “Sign Out.” Then tap the same button and sign in with your new Apple ID. The App Store will then switch to the country of your login, and you’re all set, assuming you only want free apps.
If the app you want costs money, you’ll have to add a gift card from that country to your account (unless you have a credit card registered to an actual address in the country, which you probably don’t). To get a gift card from that region, eBay is probably your best bet.
That’s all there is to it. Yes, it’s kind of a pain. No, Apple probably doesn’t want you creating a phony account. But if it gets you the app you’ve been pining for, it just might be worth the trouble.