Since iTunes 12.7 completely dropped app management features, our users have been asking if iMazing could help. The strongest request by far was app download (.IPA).
After a week of R&D, we found that we could indeed download apps just like iTunes used to. We decided to build a completely new app management section, which we are releasing in iMazing 2.5 (macOS) and iMazing 2.4 (Windows) as part of our 100% free features.
To our knowledge, iMazing is the only non-Apple software to enable users to download their purchases from the iOS App Store. We strongly hope that Apple won't block iMazing's app download capabilities: we've done our best to provide tools which many iOS users truly need.
Downloading apps to Windows PC: why it's a big deal
There are now only 2 'official' ways left for businesses to manage app deployment: MDM, which is not suitable for smaller scale deployment, and Apple Configurator, which simply isn't available on Windows at all.
Apple did release an iOS 11 compatible iTunes 12.6.3, because quote "certain business partners might still need to use iTunes to install apps", but that constitutes a temporary workaround more than a long term solution.
For small to medium sized businesses and educational institutions which often only have Windows PCs, iMazing's app management features are not just practical, they're literally becoming the only viable solution.
Why download apps in the first place?
There are quite a few use cases where maintaining an app library (.IPA packages) on a computer is useful:
Many users have multiple devices or manage their household's devices, on which the same apps are often deployed. As it stands, every single mobile device will need to individually download the same app, resulting in completely wasted bandwidth.
Our solution lets users download an app once, to their computer, and deploy it to any number of devices, to any Apple ID. The app is linked to the target device's Apple ID on the fly when it is deployed.
Save time and space
When you need to quickly make space on your iPhone, deleting apps are a great way to do just that. Trouble is, you may have to re-download them again later... Games especially can be real storage hogs, and can take ages to download.
Simply download the games once to your iMazing app library, and delete them from your iPhone or iPad to quickly make some room. When you'll need the games again, you can install them from your computer instead of starting a multi-gigabyte hours long download session.
Keep old versions, just in case
If an app you particularly rely upon has a bad update, it can take time to fix. If you've downloaded a previous version to your app library, you can roll back to it in no time.
That said, you should always make sure that no important security flaw were patched since you last downloaded a particular version. Reading those release notes is always a good idea!
Hang on to the goners
Developers sometimes pull their apps from the App Store, often because they simply cannot maintain them anymore. If you have a copy on your computer, you can always reinstall that old indie game you enjoyed a couple of years back...
Wait, are you hacking the App Store???
Not at all! Only apps which you have already acquired via the App Store can be downloaded and installed. iMazing will ask you to login to your Apple ID, and can only install an app if that login is successful and if the app is listed in it's purchases.
We also take great care to protect your Apple ID and your privacy, please give our Security & Privacy page a read if you find yourself hesitant to sign in to your Apple ID via iMazing.
How does it work in practice?
If you haven't already, download and install iMazing 2.5 (Mac) or iMazing 2.4 (Windows).
Then, simply connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your computer, and click the Manage Apps button in the actions list to access the new app management fetaures: Notice that the Manage Apps view has 2 tabs: Library and Device.
When this tab is highlighted, iMazing displays apps which have been detected as linked to your Apple ID (displayed next to the Sign Out button on top). Here, you can:
- Download apps to your computer
- Install apps on your devices
- Delete downloaded apps
- Import .IPAs you may have downloaded with iTunes
- Export an app as an .IPA linked to the current Apple ID (if authorised, of course)
Click on the Device tab to see apps which are effectively installed on your device.
Here, you can:
- Uninstall apps to make room (sorting by size is a good idea!)
- Back up app data to our .imazingapp format
- Restore app data in .imazingapp format
- Install an .IPA package on your device via drag and drop
- Filter apps by Apple ID, convenient to tell which app is linked to which Apple ID if you're using 2.
Back to the Library tab, clicking on the Add from App Store button will display the App Store Search view.
App Store Search
iMazing cannot access the list of your App Store purchases directly, but it can verify that a given app is indeed linked to your Apple ID.
Any app you own and which is still on the App Store can be added to your app library from here - simply type the app's name in the search field, and click the download button to add it.
If you have not purchased or acquired the app before, the download will fail and iMazing will suggest you get the app from the iOS App Store first. No need to download it to your device, just to purchase it, or 'Get' it if it is free.
As always, we're thrilled to bring you exciting new features, and look forward to your feedback!