No more iPhone app browsing in iTunes on Mac makes me sad

Some might call me an app junky, an @appaholik if you will. I love browsing and downloading apps just to check them out. If they're awesome, they stay on my iPhone or iPad. If they don't keep my interest for more than a month, I might move on. It's like record shopping, but for apps.

Almost every day, I spend some time in the App Store in iTunes on my Mac, just browsing what's new and what's hot. I'm window shopping ... looking for something that piques my interest. If I find something, I download it on my iPhone or iPad.

With the update to version 12.7 of iTunes, Apple has completely obliterated iPhone and iPad app shopping on Mac. It's left a hole in my heart and it's not even 24-hours gone yet.

In iTunes 12.7, Apple has removed iOS apps, iTunes U, iBooks, and ringtones, focusing instead on music, movies and TV shows, audiobooks, and podcasts. iTunes 12.7 also adds the social feature we saw in iOS 11. If you haven't been playing with the beta, you can finally join in the reindeer games by setting up your profile on your Mac and following your friends.

Your purchased apps can be found in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. If you don't see the cloud icon, you may need to sign into the App Store. iTunes U has been folded into Podcasts. Ringtones are available in the Tones section of iTunes on your iPhone. You can find ringtones you've purchased in the Purchased section. You can find your iBooks in the iBooks app on your Mac. The iBooks Store can be found there, as well.

Admittedly, I love the cleanliness of iTunes on the Mac now. It's more focused and doesn't feel like a dump of every service Apple offers. I used to hide most of those services in my menu anyway.

But not the iOS apps. The App Store on iTunes was always at the top of my list. Now, it feels like something is missing, like maybe I accidentally hid the App Store section and I can just unhide it and everything will be OK. But I never find it. The apps never come back. Not in iTunes anyway. Not on my Mac.

I can understand why Apple made the change. My colleague Serenity Caldwell has been outspoken about wishing iTunes on the Mac would get streamlined and that's exactly what Apple did. For all intents and purposes, iTunes on the Mac is definitely a more pleasant experience now.

I imagine that most people don't look for iOS apps on Mac, anyway. I mean, why would you? It used to be that you could download an iOS app onto your Mac and then connect your iPhone or iPad via iTunes and all of those apps would sync to your device. But who connects their iPhone or iPad to their computers anymore (I know, there are still some of us ... me included)?

Shopping for iOS apps on Mac makes so much less sense than just browsing the App Store on iPhone and iPad. Apple probably looked at the numbers and decided that there were too few of us using the App Store on Mac to make it worth the effort to keep it maintained. Totally reasonable decision.

But my heart doesn't use reason. All I see when I open iTunes right now is a hole where my apps used to be (yes, I'm exaggerating my emotions, but you get my point). I know I'll get used to not browsing the iOS App Store on my Mac every day. I can still do so on iPhone and iPad, and with iOS 11, the mobile experience is absolutely wonderful. Heck, I may even switch to browsing the Mac App Store every day instead. That makes more sense.

Your thoughts?

Are you happy to see the iOS App Store section in iTunes on the Mac go or are you going to miss it?

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).