Let me admit — I despise iTunes. It’s a bloated mess that should’ve been made redundant ages ago. But Apple is insanely adamant about using it for everything from a simple file transfer to backing up my iPhone, so I just gotta stick with the damn thing.
Now, it’s been a while into Windows 10, and something that I never thought was gonna happen just did. Unbelievably, Apple took that extra trouble to release an iTunes app on the Windows Store. Wow!
But how different is it from the desktop version? Is it worth switching over to? Well, you are going to find out pretty soon, so do read on!
First and foremost, the download size. Well, you really shouldn’t find too much difference between the Windows Store and the desktop versions of iTunes. The former requires a 216MB download, while the latter weighs in a tad higher at 250MB.
But when it comes to required storage space, the Windows Store version took up 480MB on my hard drive, which is around 100MB more than its desktop counterpart.
Kinda surprising since it actually should’ve been the opposite, considering that Store apps usually are much more streamlined. iTunes never stops getting any weirder, right?
If you’ve already got the desktop version of iTunes installed on your PC, then getting the Store version installed is super-easy. And it’s not just about how convenient installing a Store app is either.
Whatever music or backups that you had earlier are automatically migrated to the iTunes Store app after installation, with no input — except on UAC prompts — on your part whatsoever!
And further, the desktop version is automatically removed afterward as well. I never thought it was going to be so easy, but there you go!
If you were worried about manually transferring your music and backups, forget it.
Same Ol’ User Interface
I expected a totally revamped user interface, and I was quite disappointing with what I saw. In short, it’s just a lazy port of the desktop version with no visual changes whatsoever.
But on the brighter side, there’s nothing confusing about the whole thing, since I could find each and every option in the exact same locations as they were before.
However, it would’ve been nice of Apple to show some intuitiveness for a change. It’s not as if they lack the talent.
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How It Functions
The iTunes Store app doesn’t just look the same as the desktop version — it also functions the same. Expect everything from playing Apple Music to syncing your iPhone to function the exact same way.
I did come across an issue where iTunes couldn't detect my iPad the first time that I connected it. However, a Windows 10 restart fixed things up and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
So, if you were hoping for new features and functionalities, there are none.
Note: In fact, there is a slight change. Remember that annoying pop-up that prompted you to install iCloud all the time? Well, it's finally gone!
Slightly Better Performance
The iTunes Store app is just a carbon copy of the desktop version, but it functions slightly faster. It’s not leaps and bounds ahead in performance, but I did find noticeable differences in speeds, especially when launching the app.
Perhaps it’s due to the fact there’s less bloat loading up alongside the application. To confirm my suspicions, I delved briefly into the Task Manager and found that extra processes such as iTunesHelper and iPod Service were no longer present. Suits me!
The usual iTunes updates are a mess. They take ages to finish, hangs up during the process, and can totally ruin your installation for no reason at all.
Not the case with the Windows Store version, where updates are automatically applied in the background as soon as they are released. And yeah, and no more stupid computer restarts to ‘apply’ updates either.
And that means you won’t find a Check for Updates option on the Help menu — in fact, it’s just about the only difference present between the desktop and Store apps that I could find.
Both versions are so similar that I had to peek into the Help menu to find that I really was using the Store app after all, and I’m sure that you’ll too!
Supports Windows 10 S
For those of you who use Windows 10 S, this is what you were waiting for all along. You can now listen to Apple Music, sync content to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod, perform backups, and restore devices just like on Windows 10. Yay!
If you were on the fence about switching to Windows 10 S simply due to its lack of support for the iTunes desktop version, then it’s time to finally do that without worrying.
In fact, I really think that it was this exact Windows 10 S restriction that prompted Apple to get off their lazy asses and finally release iTunes on the Windows Store. Just my opinion.
So, Should You Switch?
If you use Windows 10, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t switch to the iTunes Store app. Yeah, it’s pretty much the same, but it does remove major annoyances such as clunky updates procedures and unnecessary bloat out of the equation, not to mention a slightly faster user interface as well.
Also, the desktop version has a myriad of issues, and migrating to the Windows Store version may totally fix things for you. And it’s not like you need to manually transfer your music libraries and backups either!
So, what are thoughts about the Store app? Did I miss anything? Do make sure to join the discussion below.