Why Has Apple Removed the Wishlist for Apps?

Apple seems to be hostile to iOS app developers these days. First, they removed the App Store from iTunes on the desktop, ensuring that developers will no longer be able to sell apps on a Mac or PC. But they also did something else to the App Store on iOS: they have removed the Wish List.

The Wish List is the simplest of things: it allows you to bookmark items you may want to buy. Since the iTunes Store doesn’t have a shopping cart – you can’t save items for later, as you can with most online stores – this is the only way you can mark something that you want to come back to.

This morning, I saw an article about a game that is new to iOS; it’s called The Witness. I glance at the App Store page on my iPhone, but I didn’t have time to look closely. It’s a $10 game, so I wasn’t about to make an impulse purchase. I went to add it to my Wish List, and discovered that I can’t do that any more. So I had to make a not of it in Evernote. This sort of friction will lead to a lot of people just forgetting about apps they see, if they don’t buy them immediately.

Interestingly, when I got to my desk, I looked up the app in iTunes (I’m still running iTunes 12.6.2 on my iMac). I didn’t remember the name, and when I went to the Games section of the App Store, I didn’t see it highlighted; this is odd, because it’s on the Today section of the App Store in iOS. I had to go back to Evernote to find the name, and when I searched for it, I didn’t find it either. Here’s what turned up (the game called The Witness is not the same one):


When I did eventually find it (here’s a link), I found that I could add it to my Wish List in iTunes 12.6.2. And I can view that Wish List in the same version of iTunes. But on my Mac running iTunes 12.7, when I look at the Wish List, I don’t see apps; only music, movies, TV shows, and books.

I don’t understand why Apple is making it harder to buy apps.

5 thoughts on “Why Has Apple Removed the Wishlist for Apps?

  1. I noticed that too, when I upgraded to iOS 11. I think I added something just a couple days ago too. Often these are apps I don’t need at the moment, but would look at if I’ve got gift cards. It’s off to apple.com/feedback

  2. It feels as if there is no longer anyone at Apple with any authority who advocates for the user experience, or functionality of important workflows. This is a good example, as is breaking custom ringtones, breaking the ability to use iBooks for your own PDFs and ePubs, breaking the correct functioning in Preview of scans from the industry-leading scanner (which is only half fixed after a year), the deterioration of the the once-simple but now completely-jumbled iTunes interface, Apple Music messing up personal music libraries, etc. To use behaviorist language, my once solid behavior of trying new Apple functionality is going into extinction. My desire to even try to fix the broken workflows is dying as well.

  3. I suspect that Apple wants you to make impulse purchases rather than to be thoughtful by bookmarking an app to think about later. It’s not about the user experience, it’s about maximising income.

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