Apple on Wednesday announced a major change for Windows users who use iTunes for Windows with an iPhone or for Apple Music or Apple TV. Apple has released three new apps for Windows 10 or higher, which the company now recommends instead of iTunes for Windows:
Apple has also updated the iCloud app for Windows. The interface is now clearer and support for hardware keys has also been introduced. You can find out more about this in our separate article “Hardware security key now also for iCloud under Windows”.
For audiobooks and podcasts, Windows users will still need to use the iTunes for Windows app. This is also required if one of the new apps is not running on your PC. Apple released iTunes for Windows on October 16, 2003 with support for iPod and iTunes Music Store.
Apple has a support document with more information about the new applications (which is currently only available in English).
iTunes on the sidelines
On macOS, Apple divided iTunes into individual apps and discontinued them in 2019, and four years later it’s finally Windows’ turn. Although iTunes for Windows will not be discontinued immediately, its final end is only a matter of time:
The new Apple apps are compatible with Windows 10 and newer, with Windows 10 and Windows 11 accounting for 94.3 percent of the total market share in January 2024, according to Statcounter. The remaining tracked versions, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are coming together to just 5.63 percent, and the trend is falling.
According to Microsoft, the total number of Windows PCs has been stagnating since the beginning of 2022 and has leveled off at around 1.4 billion. If we use the statistics from Statcounter, outdated Windows versions still account for almost 79 million devices – a number that should not be neglected.
How many of them use an iPhone in combination with their Windows PC is difficult to estimate, but there won’t be too many. The question is whether and when Apple will step on these relatively few users. Our assessment: next year at the latest.
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The article originally appeared here at our sister publication Macworld and was translated and supplemented by us.