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The latest version of iTunes removes the App Store and with it the ability to manage iOS apps on an iPhone or iPad directly through iTunes. Instead, Apple wants users to manage and sync their iOS apps directly on the iOS device itself via the built-in App Store.
Removing the App Store and an Apps section from iTunes has confused some users and annoyed others. But don’t worry, even though this change may require some tweaking as you can still easily manage apps, sync apps and re-download apps, and access apps from the App Store right on an iPhone or iPad.
It will be helpful to think of the app ‘sync’ concept as now more like re-downloading apps from the App Store as app syncing to and from iTunes has largely disappeared and is replaced by re-downloading instead of apps if necessary over the internet. . (I say away largely because you can still work with .ipa files, more on that below.)
How to Download apps to iPhone or iPad again from iOS App Store, without iTunes
You can download existing and old apps and manage apps directly on iPhone and iPad from the App Store Purchased section. The Purchased section of the App Store contains all the apps you have ever previously downloaded or purchased while the Apple ID was in use, as long as those apps are still in the App Store. This ability to redownload iOS apps has been around for a long time in iOS, but it may be more important now than ever before.
Here’s how to open Purchased and use it to download apps back to your iOS device. Note that the precise actions on the iPhone are slightly different from those on the iPad, but the general behavior is the same:
- Open the App Store app in iOS
- Go to the Purchased section in the App Store
- For iPhone and iPod touch: Go to “Updates” and then “Purchased”
- For iPad: Tap your Apple ID account icon in the corner of the opened App Store
- In the iPad App Store, tap ‘Purchased’
This allows you to download and open apps that you have previously downloaded, owned, or ever purchased, but are not on the current iOS device.
These purchase listings vary by iOS device and change from “Not on this iPhone” or “Not on this iPad,” depending on which device you’re using with the same Apple ID and which apps are on the active iOS device.
Arrange iOS app Home Screen and icon layouts on iPhone and iPad
You can still control your iOS home screen the way you want it to a custom icon layout, but now it needs to be done on iPhone or iPad.
Just tap and hold an app icon until all screen icons start to jiggle. Once the icons on the iOS screen jiggle, they can be moved at will. Use this to get the Home Screen of an iPhone or iPad according to your preferences.
If you drag a shaking icon to the edge of the screen, tap and hold and you can move the app icon to another Home Screen page.
Delete unwanted apps from iPhone or iPad
Deleting apps from iPhone or iPad is a matter of deleting the apps from iOS, the easiest way is through the tap and hold method described here and then delete.
You can also delete apps from an iOS device from the Settings> General section to manage storage.
Manually sync / copy apps via IPA files to iPhone or iPad with iTunes
Interestingly, you can still drag and drop ringtones in .m4r format and iOS apps in .ipa file format to iTunes and to the target iOS device, and they need to be transferred to the target iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
If you happen to have an iOS app .ipa file, you can still manually copy it to iPhone or iPad via iTunes by dragging and dropping this method. This is a bit like syncing, but it’s really just copying a file from the local computer to the target iOS device using iTunes.
Apps saved as .ipa files, if you saved them on a local computer, can be found in the iTunes Library locations on the Mac and Windows PC and a subfolder for Mobile Applications, usually the path is as follows for Mac and Windows PC respectively:
IPA file path in Mac OS:
~ / Music / iTunes / iTunes Media /Mobile Applications /
IPA file path in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10:
My music iTunes iTunes Media
With an iPhone or iPad connected to the computer via USB, simply drag and drop the IPA file to iTunes to the respective iOS device from the sidebar.
This particular IPA file is always possible feature will disappear from iTunes in the future with another software update, or the IPA files stored on a computer will disappear if you don’t copy them elsewhere for backup purposes, so it’s probably wise not to rely too much to be of this particular possibility.
Do you know any other tricks or useful approaches to managing apps and iOS devices through iTunes or a computer, now that iTunes has removed the App Store? Let us know in the comments!
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