Apple brings back the App Store with alternative iTunes update

Apple brings back the App Store with alternative iTunes update

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iTunes App Store
The App Store is back in iTunes 12.6.3.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple has released an alternative version of iTunes that still includes the App Store, ringtones, and other features that were removed last month.

You can download and install iTunes version 12.6.3 for Mac and PC now — even if you have already upgraded to iTunes version 12.7.

After making iOS 11 available to the public, Apple released a more “focused” iTunes 12.7. It provides access to music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks — but nothing else. The built-in App Store and ringtones were removed.

Apple appears to have realized that was a bad move for some customers. Today, it rolled out iTunes 12.6.3, which brings back these missing features while adding support for iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and any other device running iOS 11.

“Apple offers Volume Purchase Programs and Apple Configurator on Mac to help enterprise environments manage and mass-deploy apps on iOS devices,” it explains in a support document. “But certain business partners might still need to use iTunes to install apps.”

iTunes 12.6.3 is available for Mac and PC, and can be installed over iTunes 12.7. That means you don’t need to take any special steps to downgrade; simply download the installer and run it.

Apple says “you won’t be prompted to download new versions of iTunes after you install this version,” so it’s unclear if there will be a future update for those who still need the App Store. Users are encourage to update to the latest version of iTunes “when you’re ready.”