1. donawalt's Avatar
    My Mac downloaded the new iTunes 12.7 last night, and Apps are no longer part of it, part of a change coming with iOS 11. This seems to raise a number of questions that I have not seen any answers to, I am hoping someone here can help!

    1. There is still a folder 'Mobile Applications' under my iTunes folder on my Mac - yet it would seem these will no longer be updated, as that page which managed apps and updates is gone now?
    2. Is that folder still needed?
    3. When I would get say a new iPhone, I would encrypted backup to iTunes to preserve passwords etc., ensuring that the apps are updated there. When I would bring up a new iPhone and set it up from an iTunes backup, it installed all the apps from iTunes - I just did one for someone, and with about 200 apps it took about 25 minutes to have the phone ready to go. If the install of the apps has to occur now over the air/from the cloud, isn't this going to be like I recall setting up a device via the cloud that took days to get the apps set up?How will this work/how can a new device (or a device that had to be reset to factory condition) still be set up quickly?

    09-13-2017 07:41 AM
  2. The_Scribe's Avatar
    Like donawalt I am concerned by this change in iTunes and the lack of information.

    I have always bought and downloaded apps using iTunes on my iMac. This allows me to use the much larger screen for browsing the app store and it also provides a single download of the app. Since I use one Apple ID on all of my devices, I then plug in any of the 9 iOS devices (3 phones, 6 iPads) into the iMac to load the new apps to the appropriate devices. During this process, I also get a fresh backup of the device added to the iMac.

    When I need to set up a new device - I simply use the most recent back-up for the old device which, as donawalt notes, saves a LOT of time.

    Using my iMac as the back up device also saves me having to pay for iCloud storage.

    Based on the scant information available at this time, it appears that I will no longer be able to:
    • back up my iPhones and iPads to my iMac;
    • download an app once, and share it to multiple devices at my leisure;
    • set up a new device or re-image a device by restoring a back-up from my iMac;

    instead I will have to
    • download apps individually to each device
    • pay to use iCloud for device back-ups
    • set up new devices from scratch

    I hope that I am missing something and that I am wrong.

    iMore, you need to prepare a new guide to managing multiple devices!
    09-13-2017 06:14 PM
  3. donawalt's Avatar
    Scribe, you can still backup to iTunes, encrypted, so as not to lose your passwords. The only difference is, once the new phone is set up, instead of downloading the apps from your Mac, it will download across WiFi as long as there is a WiFi signal and your device is connected to power. BTW, the Mobile Applications folder that is under your iTunes folder can be deleted, it is not used any more and it will quickly become obsolete - I have noticed about 50-70 updates (out of 200 apps I have) each week, so the 30GB or so I have being used in that folder will be a waste of space very quickly.

    Now, I did a test to see how bad this would be. I had my previous iPhone, a 6s, around still, in factory condition. So I set it up, updated the OS, and then I did a restore of the latest iTunes backup I had done on my current iPhone 7 as a test, to see how long things take. Now my internet is very fast, probably sustained around 200 Mbps download speed on my iPhone 7.

    So to get the phone setup and ready to use but no apps downloaded, took 23 minutes. I have about 200 apps on my phone. To download them all requires WiFi and connected to power, which I kept it plugged into my MBP. For all the apps to download, took an additional 37 minutes. iTunes said it was about 15 GB of data to download when I checked to see how much storage on my existing iPhone 7 was "apps"..

    So that is not too bad. This will affect some who have caps on their service or slow download speeds, but I remember it working very slowly in the past, this is better at least.
    09-13-2017 07:44 PM
  4. EB2's Avatar
    Interesting, informative convos Scribe and donawait. Trying to shed some light, which Apple certainly did not do here. One thing here. About 70% of my apps were downloaded via iTunes/USB, 30% directly from iOS App Store (since App trimming, and the future)). I regularly sync/back up iPad via iTunes. Scary hearing people talk about re-downloading/restoring. At this moment, when there are updates, I can see only the "70%" in the iTunes Apps Store window, which makes sense. On the iPad, I can see ALL of the new updates. Plus, in the Purchased tab (iOS App Store), the "70%" synched from iTunes are there with the button "open" next to them. Info needed: I do not understand what will happen to the ones downloaded from iTunes/laptop once I upgrade to iTunes 12.7. A bit apprehensive with the result for the "70%" (mostly productivity apps with a lot of data) after 12.7, and once I stopped relying on iTunes saved for backing up the iPad. Thank you.
    09-14-2017 05:29 PM
  5. The_Scribe's Avatar
    I just came across an article on LifeHacker (deadspin-quote-carrot-aligned-w-bgr-2<\/title><path d="M10,3.5l3-3,3,3Z" style="fill:%23fff;stroke:%23fff"/><path d="M0,3.5H10l3-3,3,3H26" style="fill:none;stroke:%231b3a4d"/><\/svg>')}.f_branding_on.blog-group-deadspin .editor-inner.post-content .pu) which brought up another issue. If you have old 32 bit apps, (or perhaps non-App Store apps) that you might still be using on an older device those apps those apps will not be available from the iOS App Store!

    So donawalt, it might be worth keeping some of those old .ipa files on the iMac if they are for old apps!

    Lots of complaints on the LH article. Maybe if there is enough Apple might relent and provide us with an option to keep using iTunes...
    09-15-2017 12:14 AM
  6. PowderBubble's Avatar
    Good points from all!
    Yup- new updated iTunes completely removes the ability to download/sync/keep apps locally on Mac.
    The message prior downloading update is not clear or transparent.
    Perhaps you should warn your iMore readers of this humongous change!
    I'm bugged to say the least, very bugged!
    (That's keeping it polite). I had 100s of apps spanning years that I could manage on older devices- now they're all gone. Not happy!
    I received this reply from Apple support:
    Hello! We're glad you reached out. We can understand your disappointment with not knowing what changes were coming ahead of time. There is not a way to revert back to a previous version of iTunes. This article will explain what all changed with iTunes and how it changed: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208075?cid=tw_sr

    To ensure your feedback about gets to the right place, we’d recommend leaving your feedback about the new iTunes application here: https://www.apple.com/feedback/#mn_p

    We all need to voice our concerns via link. This is the final straw for me having spent 10s of thousands of pounds with Apple over the years, plus got all family on Apple; it's easy enough to spend my hard earned cash elsewhere and that's what I'll be doing going forward.
    And on closing, yes, not all apps previously downloaded are on iCloud- if Apple removed them for whatever reason; they're history!
    Not good considering I bought and paid for them in the first place!
    Really am incandescent with rage at Apple!
    Hoping your all less perturbed with this than I am?!
    09-20-2017 06:56 AM
  7. The_Scribe's Avatar
    I have not updated iTunes yet. I currently have 56 apps waiting to update on my iMac. I randomly clicked on 5 or 6 of them, and most include a comment that the update provides iOS 11 compatibility.

    So, iOS 11 will not allow 32-bit apps to run at all. I wonder if the apps themselves are still 32-bit compatible?

    My quandary right now, is, should I download all the apps to my iMac - hoping that they are still backwards compatible, and have them available for my old devices (iPad 1 and 2)?

    I recognise that people have complained about iTunes for years - but the best alternative in my mind was to move the iOS app store part of iTunes into the Mac's App Store app - problem solved. All your apps are purchased from the App Store, and iTunes loses a bit of bloat. Why does Apple always act without asking!?
    PowderBubble likes this.
    09-23-2017 03:47 PM
  8. The_Scribe's Avatar
    Apple has released iTunes 12.6.3 which contains the App Store! See Apple's website for download https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT208079. There are articles on 9 to 5 Mac and Reddit about it! Apparently this was done to placate businesses which have to deal with multiple devices - kind of like what I was complaining about initially! No confirmation about how long this will be available, but perhaps Apple has twigged that the finctionality was great it was just the mess of cramming everything into iTunes that sucked!
    PowderBubble likes this.
    10-09-2017 05:02 PM

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