Hey Apple, I Liked Browsing for iPhone Apps on My Mac

1 minute read
| Editorial

I’ve got a quick message for Apple: I like(d) browsing for iOS apps on my Mac. That’s now a past-tense sentiment, because Apple removed the App Store from iTunes with the release of iTunes 12.7 on Tuesday.

The new iTunes focuses on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks. Apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are now exclusively available in the new App Store for iOS. And the new App Store makes it easy to get, update, and redownload apps—all without a Mac or PC.

WTF Apple?

iTunes FAIL

Now with Less!

I mean, yeah, that’s great and stuff. The App Store on iOS is now awesomer. It’s got a new look and feel and all these new features that improve discovery and makes everything MOAR BETTER.

Except I like shopping for my freaking apps using a proper keyboard on a big screen! I like being able to quickly grab app URLs and pasting them into a browser on my Mac!

Making the App Store usable without a Mac is fine and good, but that doesn’t mean you should take away the option to do this stuff on a Mac, too. I mean, seriously. If you want to take apps out of iTunes, give me an iOS App Store on my Mac, too.

iTunes Bloat

In some ways, Apple is in a no-win situation here. People have been complaining about iTunes bloat for years, and I get trying to streamline iTunes. I even get wanting to refocus that piece of software on media—the tunes part of iTunes.

But taking away the ability to browse iOS apps on Macs and PCs is a step backward for users. And for a company with all the money in the world, those backward steps are annoying as @&#%!

App Store App

Give us a standalone App Store app for Mac and PC, or make the Mac App Store app serve both operating systems, and a standalone App Store for PC. It’s that simple.

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archimedes
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archimedes

I really miss this. 🙁

Raseone
Member
Raseone

Removing the ability to browse IOS apps on a mac instantly cut the installs (and revenue) for my IOS app in half. I spent 4 years and my life savings developing that app and getting traction in the app store was not easy. My small business has already had to survive being cut off at the knees by Google in 2011 after 14 years of building an audience then suffered the same treatment from Facebook soon after… Now Apple. Also how am I supposed to look at all the apps I keep on my mac that I don’t want installed… Read more »

MTWalker
Member
MTWalker

These comments extend those by benji888578. The latest iTunes, v12.7, recognizes an iOS device attached to computer by USB cable; however new iTunes’ only remnants of app-support is the ability to manage the installed version of iOS. (My only attempt to update iOS via WiFi was a botch — the fault was a defect in Apple’s checks for a correct download with adequate storage for installing the update. AppleCare support during six months never managed to restore that iPad to its prior state.) a) I have a 2GB app (Beethoven’s 9th) installed on iPodTouch for listening and iPad for reading… Read more »

PSMacintosh
Member
PSMacintosh

I’m an Apple user since 1979….and former fan. I’m so SICK of Apple “knowing what’s best for us” and being so wrong so many times. (And, of course, never asking us beforehand, nor afterwards. No feedback mechanism.) I own a nice iMac (a paid Apple product). It is my right to be able to use it as much as possible and whenever I want. It has a big screen, a regular keyboard, and fast/cheap wired ethernet. Apple is now diminishing my use and value of my iMac. I own an iPhone (a paid Apple product). I HATE my iPhone and… Read more »

wab95
Member
wab95

Except I like shopping for my freaking apps using a proper keyboard on a big screen! I like being able to quickly grab app URLs and pasting them into a browser on my Mac! Making the App Store usable without a Mac is fine and good, but that doesn’t mean you should take away the option to do this stuff on a Mac, too. I mean, seriously. If you want to take apps out of iTunes, give me an iOS App Store on my Mac, too. Bryan, I’m not going to point out that this is a seriously First World… Read more »

dndgirl
Member
dndgirl

I could not agree more. I sync and update my apps every single evening. Also, this time iTunes decided to update itself without even letting me know until after the fact. I have never used automatic update for my Mac so I was caught by surprise. Fortunately a very kind person in a Mac group provided instructions for me to get back the previous version from Time Machine.

I just don’t know what Apple was thinking!

jackadoodle
Member
jackadoodle

When I saw this, I THOUGHT I used the festure. And I know years ago I once did. But I think it has now been years since I bought an app for my phone via desktop.

oneof52
Member
oneof52

Agree. PITA!

Member
benji888578

I agree iTunes has a lot of bloat, but, they took iBooks out into it’s own app, why not make a separate app for iOS syncing? OR, even better, move iTunes syncing to the Mac App Store, then you could see more easily what apps are available on multiple platforms. Either way, then they could PLEASE give the iTunes UI a major overhaul, especially for movies and tv shows. I have 3 iOS devices and slow internet, prefer to download once, then sync my devices via my Mac. I also prefer to use my Mac for browsing iOS apps, as… Read more »

makeitup
Member
makeitup

Bryan, you’re using it wrong! 🙂 We know what’s good for you. You don’t. 🙂

Lee Dronick
Member
Lee Dronick

Solve real problems in a competent and professional manner.

It is because they don’t tuck in their shirts! The only one who didn’t look like a slob at the Keynote Address was Craig Federighi.

John Kheit
Member
John Kheit

Amen. Apple has become a demented genie where you wish for something, and they fulfill it in the most negative way possible. Yes, iTunes is a bloated mess. The solution to that is not to DELETE MY DATA. Break the app up. There is an iTunes Store app on the iPhone and iPad, why not the mac? Still let me manage my apps that are now no longer available on the store. Stop destroying my data!!! Do some real work! Solve real problems in a competent and professional manner. Not the total S***show of management that Apple has been under… Read more »

Lee Dronick
Member
Lee Dronick

Using my iPad I went to the App Store and copied a link, then pasted it into Safari on my Mac. It opened a Page in iTunes preview with quite a bit of information about the app, but no way to buy it via OSX iTunes as used to be able to do

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/affinity-photo/id1117941080?mt=8

Lee Dronick
Member
Lee Dronick

Even Facebook app designers are better than iTunes’ and they are horrid

Mike Weasner
Member
Mike Weasner

I suspect we can hope for iOS app integration with the Mac App Store program. Maybe that will be a surprise in High Sierra. Or maybe Apple just wants to mess with its dedicated users. Having all the money in the world doesn’t make them smart all the time.

anoylla
Member
anoylla

Hey Apple, on MacOS sierra, in the new iTunes version 12.7.0.166, there is not anymore the applications section for the iPhone. Now, how in the earth can I find an app within millions of apps? By scrolling down on my iPhone? Is that logical? In most countries, users have limited internet bandwidth on their iPhones, and this scrolling down and searching for an app (on the iPhone) is bandwidth consuming and valuable time consuming. E.g. I was trying to find the app “Countdown” on my iPhone and it took me 10 minutes of scrolling down in order to locate the… Read more »

makeitup
Member
makeitup

Apple:
1. The new App Store is designed to help you find apps. If you can’t find it, you must be stupid.
2. You should already know what you want. We do.
3. The App Store is fine. Doesn’t need fixing.

We’re so glad you love our products.

Lee Dronick
Member
Lee Dronick

I sent them feedback

domsin
Member
domsin

Hey Lee,
Please tell us how to send them feedback! I don’t see a “suggestion box” on the Apple Forums site. How do we tell them that we’re really upset about this stupid change!

Member
Rick Allen

Hi This is a great hurt for app developers and discovery. I get lots of links and recommendations from people for apps. I used to do a lot of browsing and buying on my Mac and then just let it download to my devices. Also how do you promote and share knowledge about an app when it is so much harder to share a link from a Mac? Do you email yourself the link from the iOS app store or what? How are sites like Touch Arcade and other iOS app review sites supposed to function? Think this was an… Read more »

Jeff Butts
Member
Jeff Butts

How are sites like Touch Arcade and other iOS app review sites supposed to function?

I write for one such site, and it may have a sizable impact on us. We have a system in place that ties directly into the iOS App Store and allows us to generate links that (should) access the iOS App Store, but now that’s really only going to be beneficial to our mobile readers. Those who access the links from a PC or Mac will have to search manually for the app.

Big mistake, in my opinion. Huge mistake.

Member
Rick Allen

Also no referral link commission so you have a huge impact to your business model.

Sorry for you Jeff

Lee Dronick
Member
Lee Dronick

I wonder how much of a financial hit app developers will take because shopping had gotten more difficult.

Maybe Apple made this move because they think less and less people are using a Mac and are exclusively on iOS. App shopping on my iPad is easier than when using an iPhone.

An iOS App Store app on the Mac, or a website, would help ease the pain. I could browse the apps, read and leave reviews, make a purchase, but use the iOS device to download.

Member
benji888578

I understand where you’re coming from, I prefer to browse on my Mac for new stuff for all my devices.

Also, I usually only write reviews via my Mac/iTunes, not on my iOS device. I probably never would from ATV, have to dig in to get to that.

Scott B in DC
Member
Scott B in DC

I updated and didn’t check if there were issues before hand.

This stinks! I liked the idea of managing my apps from my Mac.

What happens for “abandoned” apps that are no longer in the App Store but I still use them?