Apple Quietly Releases iTunes 12.6.3 With Built-In App Store

Apple has quietly released iTunes 12.6.3, which reintroduces the ability to download App Store apps and ringtones from within the iTunes desktop software.

Apple is making this version of iTunes available because "certain business partners might still need to use iTunes to install apps", but the download is basically available to anyone looking to reinstate the functionality that was removed in iTunes 12.7.

Screen Shot 7

If you've already installed a newer version of iTunes, you can download this version of iTunes on your Mac, PC 32-bit or PC 64-bit and run the installer. After installation is complete, you can continue to deploy apps with iTunes. You won't be prompted to download new versions of iTunes after you install this version.

Installation packages for Mac and PC (32-bit and 64-bit) are available for download on the support page. After the installation, most users will need to rebuild their iTunes Library. To do this, hold down the Option key when the app launches and in the dialog window that appears choose "Create Library...". Give the new library a name that's different to your existing library, and then migrate over your albums using the Add to Library... option under the Files menu.

Apple released iTunes 12.7 in September and said the new version was designed to focus solely on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks, which was the reason behind the removal of the built-in App Store. Following the change, apps and ringtones could only be downloaded on an iOS device.

This special "business edition" of iTunes includes compatibility with iOS 11, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. It's not clear how long Apple will offer iTunes 12.6.3, and the company does not provide technical support for this version, but for those who want the functionality it could be a useful makeweight until Apple comes up with an alternative solution.

(Thanks, Luming!)

Tag: iTunes
Related Forum: Mac Apps

Top Rated Comments

decafjava Avatar
54 months ago
Well I think the best solution would b to make a separate desktop application for ios device management (except music) for backups and app purchase and syncing.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nia820 Avatar
54 months ago
They should have never removed it.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ginkobiloba Avatar
54 months ago
Hurray ! A lot of people were unhappy with that decision to remove the appstore. Apple does listen ( sometimes )
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BillyBobBongo Avatar
54 months ago
They should have never removed it.
...without offering an alternative. iTunes is a bloated mess, so removing it makes sense, but they at least need to provide a viable way to keep backups of Apps so that people with slow internet connections don't have to download everything again and again.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gpat Avatar
54 months ago
Are those declarations for real? Just put back the feature already.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Daveoc64 Avatar
54 months ago
For years people have been complaining about iTunes being bloated. They slowly start removing features that are rarely used or needed. Yet as soon as they do people complain that something is being removed. They're not going to win.
The solution is not to remove functionality, but to split it.

There really ought to be a "boring" application that can do things like installing apps, backing up devices, restoring them etc. without iTunes.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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