Why does iTunes stop syncing apps

No more App Store on iTunes 12.7

Peter Müller

iTunes has lost the app management for iPhone and iPad in version 12.7. Rudiments are still there.

Update from March 8th, 2018:

In iTunes 12.7, Apple removed the management of apps on synced iOS devices without warning. You can only restore complete backups from a Mac or PC, but not individual applications. This usually doesn't bother you because once downloaded or purchased apps can be downloaded from the app store at any time. But only as long as the app is available there. But you can still get older apps via iTunes on your iPhone or iPad, explains Glenn Fleishman. Apple itself also has a support document online that is now slightly out of date. However, it is usually sufficient to copy the app's IPA file from the "~ / Music / iTunes / iTunes Media / Mobile Applications" folder on the hard drive or the corresponding location in the Time Machine backup into the Finder and drag it with the iPhone connected to the device section of iTunes, the synchronization then starts. This only works as long as the old app can also run on the current iOS 11.

Update from October 9th, 2017:

Somewhat hidden and probably only intended for system administrators in companies, Apple has put a successor to iTunes 12.6.2 on its own download server, which, in contrast to the current iTunes version 12.7, has an area for the App Store and also has one for ringtones. On the support side, the developer points out that administrators in companies should actually use Configurator 2 and the program for volume licenses for app management. ITunes 12.6.3 is available for those who cannot use these tools. With this version it is possible to manage the iOS apps. Three versions - one for the Mac and two for the PC - are linked in the support article. After the installation it will be necessary to create your own media library and move the content there. To do this, hold down the option key when starting iTunes and reload the media library.

Original message from 09/14/2017:

Decision with consequences: iTunes 12.7 says goodbye to the App Store and thus the management of apps. As Glenn Fleishman noted, the update does not remove any apps stored on the Mac and previously synchronized with the iPhone and / or iPad. If you want to get rid of these useless .ipa files, you have to manually remove them from the ~ / Music / iTunes Library / Mobile Applications / folder. You can still make backups of your mobile devices on your computer or restore your devices from there. Only iTunes 12.7 does not play the apps back to the mobile device via the USB Lightning cable, but loads them from the App Store when restoring them. Depending on the Internet connection, this can either take a little longer or cause high costs if you are not currently in a WLAN. File transfers from iCLoud to Dropbox or Google Drive and back are not affected by the end of the apps in iTunes. Meanwhile, the voices criticizing Apple for this decision are mounting. Bryan Chaffin admits on The Mac Observer that he enjoyed browsing for new apps on the Mac because it has a bigger screen and a decent keyboard. It is not a bad idea to streamline iTunes again, but why is there no separate Mac app for the iOS app store? Lory Gil expresses himself similarly on iMore, who also expresses understanding for the fact that only very few users like her search for iOS apps on the computer and not directly on the iPhone or iPad.

When it comes to Mac, Apple has probably already said everything there is to say this year. The iMac Pro will go on sale at the end of the year, all other products are state-of-the-art, apart from the Mac Mini, which is supposed to be discontinued. Still, yesterday Apple had two essential pieces of information for macOS. First: The new version macOS 10.13 High Sierra will be available in the final version from September 25th. Second: iTunes 12.7 is a major new version of the jukebox software that Apple has continued to develop and inflate a little over the past 16 years after taking over what was once known as Soundjam.

Now Apple has decided to part with an area that makes little sense on the Mac (and PC) anyway: apps. From iTunes 12.7 you can no longer access the App Store, programs for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch have to be purchased and loaded directly on the devices. Six years after Apple released the forced connection between iPhone and iTunes with iOS 5, it makes more than sense. Hardly anyone is still browsing for apps for their mobile devices on the Mac. Before 2011, this was the usual way of supplying the iPhone with fresh software: shopping via iTunes and playing on the device with the next synchronization. Conversely, content downloaded and purchased directly from the mobile device was played on the computer - and then updated there if desired.

Over the years iTunes had become more and more confusing and so Apple was confronted with demands from some users who wanted a division into several programs. Just as apps are treated separately from music or videos on the iPhone, outsourcing the app management from iTunes would have been an option. Apple has now decided to completely remove app management from the Mac. ITunes U was already being cleaned up in August, and the educational content has since been available in the podcast section, which continues to exist in iTunes 12.7 in addition to that for music, films, TV programs and audio books.

The end of app management also has consequences for those who bought ringtones. The purchases have not disappeared, however, but can now be downloaded from the iOS App Store app. The backups of the mobile devices are still possible. The new version can be downloaded from the link.