New iTunes Update Removes the App Store

Before the world met the newly designed App Store, many noticed that Apple made significant changes to their latest version of iTunes. This change completely removes the App Store from iTunes, returning the app to its original function of a music and entertainment player.

For years, users have been able to get their iOS apps directly from iTunes, making the app massive and considered an all-in-one platform. Apple has taken significant steps in streamlining iTunes, most likely to match the newly redesigned App Store that launched on September 19th.

Since its inception, the App Store gave users the flexibility to move apps around on their mobile devices and store old apps on their PC or Mac in the event they wanted to install them again. iTunes saved all data of purchased or free apps connected to that account, combining the functions of iTunes and the App Store.

Even though iTunes is shifting its focus back to being the number one place for music, movies, TV shows, podcasts and audiobooks, many wonder what this means for their previously downloaded apps, and how “black hat” companies will respond?

Where to Find Apps

When looking at the overall body of changes introduced by Apple with iOS 11, it is very clear that the App Store team is trying to put the final nail in the coffin for companies that focus on buying incentivized installs to boost their chart rankings.

In addition to relegating the ‘charts’ to a much smaller and less prominent presentation in the App Store (meaning fewer people will view them), this new change with iTunes will make it very hard for “black hat” off shore marketing companies who operate app install farms to survive. It is much harder (and more expensive) for these less-than-reputable companies to drive downloads from real mobile devices than it is to simply use iTunes from the desktop to trigger installs for a given target territory.

Apple removing the App Store from iTunes also means that users will no longer be able to hoard old apps or reinstall directly from iTunes. Once iTunes 12.7 is downloaded, users who have been syncing apps through iTunes will need to redownload them onto their devices, which Apple has helpfully laid out here: guide to redownloading apps.

By defining iTunes as a source for music, podcast, TV, audio books, and movies and redesigning the App Store, Apple has finally defined the intended purpose for both iTunes and the App Store, along with making it harder for “black hat” companies to operate. Finally, Apple’s two stores are separated for the first time in 9 years, giving Apple room to expand their efforts toward creating a beneficial experience for everyone across both platforms.