What’s the least likely place you’d expect to find an Apple Store stock checking tool? Try not to think about it too hard, because I’m pretty sure I have the answer. 9to5Mac has spotted a new way to see if there are any retina display-equipped iPad minis available at your local Apple Store, through a tool seemingly hidden on seaturtle.org, the Global Sea Turtle Network.
Sea turtles? Why is it buried there? Perhaps it was made by someone who cares just as deeply about Apple’s iDevices as they do about those majestic reptiles. Or maybe it was just hidden in a place that’s less likely to attract attention and get shut down like Apple Tracker did last week.
Either way, the iDevice Availability Notifier is currently live, and can track inventory for the iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with retina display. Simply type in your zip code, select the device in the size and color you want, and it’ll show a listing of Apple Stores nearby and whether or not the device is available. If it isn’t, there’s an option to enter your email address to be notified when it appears back in inventory. According to the site, “E-mail addresses will not be used for any other purpose. All requests will be deleted after they have been fulfilled.”
Unlike Apple Tracker, iDevice Availability Notifier claims it does not scrape Apple’s site for inventory information. Instead, it is using a publicly accessible XML service from Apple to determine inventory availability. A quick check on Apple’s site shows similar results to what I’m seeing with the tracking tool, so whatever service they’re using is working.
Still, I wouldn’t expect it to last too long, given the short lifespan of Apple Tracker, so check it out while it’s still there. At the very least, it’ll raise your awareness about sea turtles.