Finally! Apple might be planning to break up iTunes


iTunes on Mac
iTunes has been a pain in the ass for way too long.
Photo: Apple

The death of iTunes might finally be on the horizon. Or, at least, the downsizing of iTunes certainly seems to be.

iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith revealed today that he unearthed evidence about Apple’s plans to make separate apps for Music, Podcasts and Books. iTunes slowly morphed into a bloated beast over the last decade, so paring down the app would be welcomed by Mac users. But Troughton-Smith warns not to get your hopes up too high just yet.

We first noticed that Apple might be planning to do something drastic with iTunes when it put out its press release for the upcoming Apple TV+ service. The very last line of the press release mentioned that movie and TV show rentals will be relocated to the TV app.

“The Apple TV app will become the new home to the hundreds of thousands of movies and TV shows currently available for purchase or rent in the iTunes Store.”

iTunes needs to die

Cult of Mac reached out to Apple for more info on what that change will mean to iTunes, but the company never responded. Troughton-Smith speculates that Apple will churn out separate apps for the different categories of content as part of macOS 10.15 and the Marzipan project.

Troughton-Smith built up a solid record discovering clues about future Apple products and software by digging into iOS and macOS code. Breaking up iTunes seems like it should have happened years ago, but it looks like all the pieces are finally lining up to make it happen.

Apple gave developers a sneak peek at Marizpan at the Worldwide Developers Conference in 2018. The special project aims to allow UIKit-based iOS apps to run natively on Mac. The first phase of cross-platform apps are expected to arrive in late 2019. Apple is undoubtedly building its own cross-platform apps right now to show what’s possible. Starting with separate apps for its services seems logical before moving on to more complex and powerful apps.

We’ll probably learn more about Apple’s plan for iTunes at WWDC 2019. The annual developers conference is set to take place in San Jose, California, from June 3 to 7.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.