iTunes is finally in the Microsoft Store

Promised just over a year ago at Microsoft’s Build conference in 2017, Apple iTunes is now finally available in the Microsoft Store.

It’s a hefty install at some 477MB, and once installed, it’s still just iTunes: it can sync and upgrade iPhones and iPads, it can play and manage music, and it can make purchases from the iTunes Store. The Store version of iTunes uses Microsoft’s Centennial technology—a way of packaging up regular Windows applications for distribution and installation through the Store—so, for the most part, it’s identical to the traditional iTunes application.

However, because this iTunes is a Store app, it’s installed and updated not with Apple’s installer and updater but with the Windows Store updater. This means that it will never try to install iCloud or other Apple software. It also doesn’t install any services in the background: Centennial apps aren’t allowed to do that.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google brings a Chrome… installer… to the Microsoft Store [Updated]

In an effort to further diminish Edge’s role as “the browser you use to install Chrome,” Google has published a Chrome installer application to the Microsoft Store. Install that app, and it’ll download and install Chrome for you.

Chrome itself is not a Store app. While Microsoft has developed a system, “Centennial,” for packaging existing Windows applications and distributing them through the Store—a convenient capability, as it provides centralized upgrading and clean uninstallation—Google is not using that for Chrome. The Chrome that gets installed is the regular version of Chrome that you’d get if you downloaded it directly from Google.

For most Windows users, the distinction doesn’t matter a great deal. While we’d like more apps to be available through the Store—if for no other reason than to get the simplified updating and uninstallation—virtually every Windows user already runs a number of non-Store applications anyway. The exception is Microsoft’s locked-down Windows 10 S. Windows 10 S can only install and run Store apps. As such, 10 S can’t make use of this Chrome installer; while the installer itself can be, uh, installed, it’s not able to install the non-Store version of Chrome.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Want hot new Ars merch for Christmas? Order today

We’ve re-launched our Ars Technica merch store just in time for the holidays, and the response has been great—”Nuke it from orbit” mugs and Ars hyperspace logo T-shirts are flying off the virtual shelves.

If you’re pondering an order and want to make sure it arrives by Christmas, order today to avoid disappointment. Between the time needed to print the shirts and the time needed to ship them, December 11 is the final day to place most orders for Christmas delivery. Here are the shipping options that will still get your merch to you by December 25:

USPS Priority Mail: Dec 11
FedEx 2 Day: Dec 11
FedEx International Priority: Dec 11
FedEx Standard Overnight: Dec 12

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The triumphant return of Ars Technica mugs, T-shirts

Every geek needs two things to start the morning off right: a quality coffee mug and a fresh T-shirt. Fortunately, Ars Technica now sells both, so you can leap from your bed to confront the forces of file corruption, homeopathy, and state-sponsored malware in style with some sharp Ars Technica merch!

Long ago, when the Ars staff collectively had more hair, fewer graduate degrees, and no children, we first offered merch in the form of shirts, hoodies, and the infamous Ars sumo. Running the merch store then was a thankless job because it meant filling one’s garage with boxes of tiny foam wrestlers and XXL hoodies, along with making endless runs to the post office. As we expanded into the interstellar media empire that you know and love today, the leftover boxes of merch were quietly shot into the sun.

But we’ve always had a soft spot in our hearts for Ars logo shirts—and everyone needs a mug. So when Creative Director Aurich Lawson began batting around a few design ideas, the staff got excited. We hope you will, too.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Windows 10 Creators Update can block Win32 apps if they’re not from the Store

The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build doesn’t add much in the way of features—it’s mostly just bug fixes—but one small new feature has been spotted, and it could be contentious. Vitor Mikaelson noticed that the latest build lets you restrict the installation of applications built using the Win32 API.

The Settings app has three positions: allow apps from anywhere (the default), allow apps from anywhere but prefer apps from the Store, and only allow apps from the Store. Put in its most restrictive third position, this setting will block the installation of traditional Win32 applications; only those shipped through the Store using the Project Centennial technology will work. Interestingly, the switch only appears to govern installation. Changing the setting to “Store apps only” will allow existing Win32 applications to work, only preventing new ones from being installed.

Microsoft is late to offer this option; macOS has had a similar toggle as part of its Gatekeeper system since 2012.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Crunch Report | Super Mario Run Hits the App Store

Super Mario Run is now in the App Store, Instagram passes 600 million users, Facebook hits fake news where it hurts, Facebook releases a bunch of overlays and stickers for Messenger and Tom Wheeler is stepping down from the FCC in January. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Microsoft Tries To Declare A Christmas Truce With Apple

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.48.50 AM Microsoft has put out a TV commercial for the holidays. In it, some things happen…mostly singing. There are employees, kids and other things going on in a New York City Setting. Apple’s back yard on 5th Ave, to be specific. My colleague Alex and I hopped into Slack, watched it together and shared our thoughts. We think that Microsoft is trying to say that they’re friends, or… Read More

Apple Store’s New Look Demotes iPods From Tables To Shelves

Apple is making significant changes to its stores, including demoting the iPod from tables to shelves, 9to5mac reports.

Apple products that are valued more highly than others tend to be displayed on tables and stored in the back of the store, so the customer has to wait for someone to bring the product out to him or her. The iPod was once Apple’s biggest moneymaker, proudly displayed on a table. With today’s smartphone capabilities, a device that only plays music and video is essentially outdated.

Now the iPod will be displayed on shelves among the Apple accessories, such as headphones and cases.

At least customers who go in to buy an iPod will have a much more efficient Apple store experience since they won’t have to wait for a salesperson to retrieve it from the back room.

These changes will go into effect on Tuesday night so that customers going into stores on Wednesday morning will see the new, simplified look.