Some Apple iOS Apps No Longer Downloadable through iTunes

I went to update a bunch of apps in iTunes today, and I got this alert:

Cant download find friends

I got the same alert for the Podcasts app.

Yet iTunes is unaware of this change; it offers an Update button:

Update

This is a problem for people with multiple devices and slow internet connections. If you’re in this situation, you may want to download updates to your apps, then sync them via iTunes. You can no longer do so for at least these two apps.

Granted, these apps aren’t very big, but I don’t understand the logic here…

24 thoughts on “Some Apple iOS Apps No Longer Downloadable through iTunes

  1. I think it’s more complicated than this. I am seeing this as well, but aren’t both these apps ones which are supposedly fully integrated into IOS now. On my iphone, I don’t see any record of this app as having been updated recently. I don’t think we should see this at all because these apps are only updated when IOS itself is updated.

      • Are you sure? Since a few IOS versions ago (can’t remember which version), it’s been impossible to uninstall the podcasts app, and up until it starting appearing on Itunes (but not the Iphone) in the last couple of days, I’ve never seen an update to it go through on the auto updates. Conversely, I’ve seen comments in the IOS release notes about improvements the podcast app (which by the way still has issues with regularly crashing but that’s another story 🙂 )

        • I update all my apps on my iMac, as well as on my devices. This is the first time I’ve seen this alert.

          You’re right about the Podcasts app; I had thought it was an app you had to choose to download, but that may have been the case when it was first released. I’ll edit my comment above.

  2. I think it’s more complicated than this. I am seeing this as well, but aren’t both these apps ones which are supposedly fully integrated into IOS now. On my iphone, I don’t see any record of this app as having been updated recently. I don’t think we should see this at all because these apps are only updated when IOS itself is updated.

      • Are you sure? Since a few IOS versions ago (can’t remember which version), it’s been impossible to uninstall the podcasts app, and up until it starting appearing on Itunes (but not the Iphone) in the last couple of days, I’ve never seen an update to it go through on the auto updates. Conversely, I’ve seen comments in the IOS release notes about improvements the podcast app (which by the way still has issues with regularly crashing but that’s another story 🙂 )

        • I update all my apps on my iMac, as well as on my devices. This is the first time I’ve seen this alert.

          You’re right about the Podcasts app; I had thought it was an app you had to choose to download, but that may have been the case when it was first released. I’ll edit my comment above.

  3. The truth is in the details which no one seems to read: BOTH apps are for the yet to be publicly released iOS 10. Possibly these updates are only meant for the beta testers.

    • I thought of that, but I’m not running the beta of macOS on the Mac where I saw these alerts, and I do have standalone copies. See the comment from Craig which probably explains it.

  4. The truth is in the details which no one seems to read: BOTH apps are for the yet to be publicly released iOS 10. Possibly these updates are only meant for the beta testers.

    • I thought of that, but I’m not running the beta of macOS on the Mac where I saw these alerts, and I do have standalone copies. See the comment from Craig which probably explains it.

  5. I also have this issue …

    I’m more inclined to believe that its an artefact of being an early adopter of both apps (when they were optional) and hence having a standalone copy of the app residing in my iTunes library on Mac, which iTunes is dutifully trying to update, but since they are now bundled its stymied.

    Could just be an incorrect bundle setting though as I note that iBooks was pushed at the same time and didn’t exhibit the problem (it downloaded/installed fine). As iTunes app downloaders seem now to be in the minority it could just have slipped through the cracks and will likely drag on in resolving.

    Logging issues like this with Apple is still far too frustrating a process, I have serious iBooks issues for instance (failure to display any of my ~600 iCloud located books on iOS devices, causing iBooks crashes), but lack of logging/reporting makes troubleshooting just abysmal and dire to participate in …

  6. I also have this issue …

    I’m more inclined to believe that its an artefact of being an early adopter of both apps (when they were optional) and hence having a standalone copy of the app residing in my iTunes library on Mac, which iTunes is dutifully trying to update, but since they are now bundled its stymied.

    Could just be an incorrect bundle setting though as I note that iBooks was pushed at the same time and didn’t exhibit the problem (it downloaded/installed fine). As iTunes app downloaders seem now to be in the minority it could just have slipped through the cracks and will likely drag on in resolving.

    Logging issues like this with Apple is still far too frustrating a process, I have serious iBooks issues for instance (failure to display any of my ~600 iCloud located books on iOS devices, causing iBooks crashes), but lack of logging/reporting makes troubleshooting just abysmal and dire to participate in …

  7. Apple has been trying to wean people off downloading apps on iTunes on the desktop for awhile for multiple reasons, and it makes complete sense and very clear logic. Apple introduced app slicing and app thinning in iOS 9. One allows you to download various parts of apps as need be, the other one allows you to only download those parts of the app that will run on your device (why should I have iPad Pro assets and 64 bit code on my iPhone 5??). As they are moving towards that future and have been saying, again and again, DO NOT download the 500 MB behemoth on your Mac/PC because we have the 120 MB version for your device? last year they dropped the copying of applications from the iPhone to your computer. The App Store on the desktop will disappear soon enough, or maybe just trigger an upload to your device from the cloud. As is, when you do a restore on your desktop the apps themselves are NOT copied from the computer but rather downloaded to the device. App thinning and App Slicing do not work from the desktop…

    • It’s only sensible for people with genuine broadband. I have slow DSL, and app thinning is a real pain. If I can download in iTunes, it doesn’t thin, so I only have to download something once to feed it to multiple devices, and I don’t care if it takes all night (which some big apps do). If there was a per device option to not thin and still copy apps to itunes like the old days, I’d use it so could I make the big stuff available for the iThings that live at home by way of fast net at work. Plus I really need local copies for the all too frequent times that apple forces you to restore. If I had to redownload everything to restore, it would take more than a week for one device while clobbering all other net access for that time.

  8. Apple has been trying to wean people off downloading apps on iTunes on the desktop for awhile for multiple reasons, and it makes complete sense and very clear logic. Apple introduced app slicing and app thinning in iOS 9. One allows you to download various parts of apps as need be, the other one allows you to only download those parts of the app that will run on your device (why should I have iPad Pro assets and 64 bit code on my iPhone 5??). As they are moving towards that future and have been saying, again and again, DO NOT download the 500 MB behemoth on your Mac/PC because we have the 120 MB version for your device? last year they dropped the copying of applications from the iPhone to your computer. The App Store on the desktop will disappear soon enough, or maybe just trigger an upload to your device from the cloud. As is, when you do a restore on your desktop the apps themselves are NOT copied from the computer but rather downloaded to the device. App thinning and App Slicing do not work from the desktop…

    • It’s only sensible for people with genuine broadband. I have slow DSL, and app thinning is a real pain. If I can download in iTunes, it doesn’t thin, so I only have to download something once to feed it to multiple devices, and I don’t care if it takes all night (which some big apps do). If there was a per device option to not thin and still copy apps to itunes like the old days, I’d use it so could I make the big stuff available for the iThings that live at home by way of fast net at work. Plus I really need local copies for the all too frequent times that apple forces you to restore. If I had to redownload everything to restore, it would take more than a week for one device while clobbering all other net access for that time.

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