Hell freezes over: Apple TV and Music apps are here for Windows 11 and don't disappoint

Apple TV and Music apps for Windows 11
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced a new Insider Preview build of Windows 11 today, along with a preview version of Apple’s official new apps.
  • The apps include Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Devices, all built natively for Windows 11.
  • Being a preview, the apps are only available for those currently in the U.S. running Windows 11.

Microsoft made a surprising announcement in the Fall of 2022 that Apple’s official apps were (finally) coming to the Windows ecosystem. The first announcement was about iCloud Photos integration with OneDrive. But the other half of the statement revealed that official apps for Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Devices were also on the way.

Today is that day, at least if you’re in the U.S., as all three apps are now available to download. Despite the announcement seemingly tied to the new Windows 11 Developer Insider Preview, the apps are independent of those builds, as I installed it easily on my Windows 11 Release Preview edition.

How the Apple TV app looks in Windows 11. We likey.  (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

So, how are they? Did Apple half-ass the software by relying on older Windows technologies like its achingly old iTunes app? Not at all!

The apps appear to be built using the Windows App SDK (you can think of that as the successor to UWP) and may be using .NET 6, according to developer Dennis H. on Twitter. The result is apps that look like they fit right in with Windows 11, including some acrylic effects, standard Windows menus, and a layout that feels very familiar to anyone used to modern Windows apps from the Microsoft Store.

Hell freezes over: Apple TV in the Microsoft Store. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

Speaking of iTunes, if you have that relic installed, you’ll be prompted to remove that monstrosity in place of these superior apps, which is a smart move from Apple. For example, by firing up Apple Music, I could stream music from my library once I did the typical “authorize this computer” requirement, which is much easier now due to the more straightforward design of the app.

Apple TV also looks excellent and supports 4K UHD HDR content, as you’d hope and expect. Playback also supports full screen, windowed mode, and the mini-Windows player, letting you run a miniature floating version that runs on top of any apps, which is perfect for multi-tasking or, more likely, doing a lousy job at work.

Apple Music for Windows 11 still needs you to authorize the computer like iTunes did. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

The only app I had an issue with is Apple Devices, which launches and does nothing. The app is supposed to let you log into your account and view the status of your iPhone, iPad, etc., but hey, there’s a reason why these are called “preview,” am I right?

Regardless, I like what I see here from Apple. These apps look like outstanding additions for those who either love Apple TV or rely on Apple’s ecosystem but also prefer running a P.C. This collaboration between Microsoft and Apple is way overdue, but I’m just happy it’s finally here. Better late than never!

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Apple TV | Free at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

With an Apple TV+ account, you can watch all the movies and original content on your Windows 11 PC with Apple's new official app. Play full-screen, 4K HDR movies, or use the new mini player to watch while you work. (US-only, for now).

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Apple Music | Free at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Play your Apple Music library and stream tunes from your Apple Music subscription to your Windows 11 PC with Apple's new official app in preview. (US-only, for now).

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Apple Devices | Free at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Manage your Apple devices like an iPhone, iPad, Watch, and more from this free app from Apple. (US-only, for now).

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.