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Apple is de-bloating iTunes with latest 12.7 release, removes App Store

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Apple on Tuesday updated its iTunes software for desktop computers, with the latest release marking major changes in both content presentation, supported devices, feature additions — and deletions — and more.

Pushed out to users shortly after today's big iPhone event, iTunes version 12.7 comes with a number of notable changes. As mentioned by Apple in a popup window displayed after installation, the new iTunes places emphasis on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks. Absent from that list is the App Store, which was previously incorporated as a means to preview, purchase and manage iOS apps on registered devices.

In a surprising move, Apple is seemingly cutting bloat from iTunes, moving the software away from its previous status of centralized content management hub.

"If you previously used iTunes to sync apps or ringtones to your iOS device, use the new App Store or Sounds Settings on iOS to redownload them without your Mac," Apple says.

Beyond the App Store's removal, the latest iTunes iteration adds support for iOS 11 device syncing, meaning the software will still serve as a hardware management interface, at least for now.

As for feature additions, iTunes builds in a social networking function that allows Apple Music subscribers to create profiles and follow each other.

Other changes are mere design tweaks and include the relocation of iTunes U to Podcasts, while internet radio stations now appear in the music library sidebar. The company appears to be deemphasizing internet radio, as the view option can be toggled off completely.

Finally, Windows users will no longer see iBooks in their iTunes client, leaving the content accessible solely on iOS.

Apple breaks down the changes, as well as information on retrieving apps, ringtones and books, in a Support Pages post.

Apple's iTunes version 12.7 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free.