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Do we need to keep IOS apps in iTunes if we now sync to the cloud

16060 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Sep 20, 2013 8:37 AM by Chris CA RSS
APV Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Nov 14, 2011 4:18 PM

If all of our apps are now stored in iCloud is it still necessary to maintain them in our iTunes account on our macs, I have an air with limited HD space and with over 250 apps it takes up quite a chunk of space. If we can get updates to our apps in the mobile app and all our purchases are stored in iTunes storewhere they can be downloaded, it should be safe to delete the apps but I dread having to redownload if Im wrong. Further more will turning off the sync feature in itunes app section cause the apps on my phone to be erased?  Am I missing something?

thx

tony

MacBook Air
  • Azqi Level 3 Level 3 (710 points)

    First, it's always been okay to delete apps from your phone because you can download then again at no additional cost, assuming they are still in the store. You can re-download to your phone, or to iTunes and sync them with your device.

     

    With iOS 5 and iCloud, you don’t have to sync your device with iTunes at all. Interestingly, you can still use the device while syncing is occurring, whereas before it would interrupt syncing.

     

    Both iTunes on the computer and the Store settings on the devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) have a setting for “Automatic Downloads”. With that on, your devices will automatically download anything purchased in iTunes on your computer, and iTunes on your computer will automatically download anything purchased on your devices. You can turn it off in iTunes on your computer if you don’t want to download new purchases to your computer with very little hard drive space. If you have only one device, and won’t be using iTunes on your computer to make purchases, then there’s really no point in turning on “Automatic Downloads” on your solitary device. The “Automatic Downloads” setting only affects the device where it is activated, so setting it on your iPhone won’t affect your computer, and setting if for your computer won’t affect your iPad, and so forth.

     

    Keep in mind that not everything that is in the iTunes Store will stay there forever. Some items do get removed from the store for various reasons, such as an artist, developer, or studio changing their mind about selling it there, and so you won’t be able to download them again if that happens. If you don’t want them on your computer, ideally you would save copies to an external hard drive, at the very least.

     

    That’s the obligatory warning about backing up, which iTunes always warns you in the EULA and elsewhere.

     

    If you delete anything out of your iTunes library, but still want it on your devices, then you will pretty much have to not sync with iTunes ever again. Otherwise, iTunes will try to match everything on your computer (or whatever is selected for that device) with what’s on the device, and vice versa.

     

    With iOS 5 and iCloud, not syncing with iTunes becomes a much more sane option than it was before. This does not remove your responsibility for backing up what you have purchased. If you don’t want it on your computer, you should figure out where else to keep your own personal backup. Again, an artist, or developer, or studio, or whoever created whatever you purchased may change their mind and decide to have the item removed from the store. If that happens, you won’t be able to download it again. This has happened many times already; it’s not often, but it does happen.

     

    If you sync your device with iTunes, you’ll get a dialog asking whether you’d like to transfer the purchased items found on your device to iTunes. If you decline to transfer them to iTunes, then the purchased items on your device will be deleted. If you do that, then you’d have to re-download them again, which you’d likely do directly from your device and that would likely take forever if you did every single time.

     

     

    In short:

    • Yes, you can delete the apps and any other purchases from iTunes.
    • Be sure to use iCloud on your devices, and turn on iCloud's backup option so it'll save your apps data.
    • Then, do not sync your devices with iTunes ever again.
    • Also, do not depend on your purchases remaining in the iTunes Store forever.
    • Keep your own personal backup of all your purchases, just in case they are removed from the store (by the content creator’s request, Apple’s reasons, earthquake, apocalypse, etc.) This will require:
      • downloading new purchases to iTunes;
      • choose File > Show in Finder;
      • copy it to an external hard drive;
      • then you go back to iTunes and delete it in iTunes (not the Finder) so iTunes will know and keep your library clean.

     

    Hmm, so much for "short".

  • bradhotdog Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    i'm sorry, i was just posting this same question and saw this answer and i still am confused

     

    technically speaking, isn't it always syncing to itunes? isn't icloud synced with itunes? i don't understand this

     

    they now let you sync your phone wirelessly to itunes AND have icloud on at the same time, what is my phone syncing with?!

     

    i feel like they've made this more complicated than ever

     

    so if i delete the apps on my itunes on my computer, i'm never alowd to connect my iphone to my computer with usb again?! i'm always going to have to do this to pull videos off my camera roll

  • bradhotdog Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    fyi, i told itunes no to sync my apps anymore and then they all deleted themselves from my phone. so that didn't work.

     

    i have to eventually sync with itunes, but i can choose not to sync apps with my phone. but in doing that, it deletes everything.

     

    i made a backup on my icloud, and now i'm trying to figure out how to restore that.

     

    this seems so complicated and messy unless you started using your phone for the first time once icloud was put in

  • Kalyan K Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    this is an incomplete solution. there are certina reasons why I would synce my itunes.

    for example, you may need to provide some files to some app. or you may need to sync podcasts between your devices like i do, or you may be copying some videos over. at this poin, you are forced to use 'SYNC' option. but everytime you do this, iTunes treis to import all your apps on to ur computer(at least on mac).

     

    one thing you can do is, while syncing, when it shows on iTunes that it is copying the apps, you can hit the 'x' and it would stop syncing the apps. works for me but still an annoyance

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,395 points)

    Kalyan K wrote:

     

    this is an incomplete solution. there are certina reasons why I would synce my itunes.

    for example, you may need to provide some files to some app. or you may need to sync podcasts between your devices like i do, or you may be copying some videos over. at this poin, you are forced to use 'SYNC' option. but everytime you do this, iTunes treis to import all your apps on to ur computer(at least on mac).


    No, you are not forced to sync all apps on a Mac or a Windows PC.

    You can sync only the apps you want.

    Select the iPad in iTunes.

    Select the Apps tab.

    Tick Sync apps and check the apps you want to sync.

    Uncheck the apps you do not want to sync.

  • Kalyan K Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    WoW, at the 1st glance, i was like 'How the **** did I not try this'.....

     

    So I tried it now.

     

    after facing similar issues like the author of this post mentioned, i deleted all the apps in my mac and dowloaded them on my iPhone directly. so now when i plugin the iphone and select 'Syns apps' i dont see the individual apps listed.

     

    i guess itunes would list only if i downloaded the apps after i select the sync apps.

     

    the main reason for me to switch to this setup was that whenever you unselect 'sync apps' in ur iTunes, iTunes would force you to deleted the apps that you downloaded on your mac/pc that you have copied to the iPhone.

     

    i hate this......

  • Rob Tholemeier Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)

    Hm, running iTunes 10 and iPhone 4s with recently updated IOS6.

     

    This is not my experience. If you have your apps on your iPhone, but delete the files in the Mobile Applications directory the app icon on the apps page of iTunes has an !.

     

    You can sync iPhone all you want no problem. You can even "place" apps on any iPhone page.

     

    If you delete the icons  with the ! on the iTunes apps page, then next time you sync iTunes will restore them back to iTunes from the iPhone. I am using a USB cable to sync.

  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (73,395 points)

    Rob Tholemeier wrote:

     

    Hm, running iTunes 10 and iPhone 4s with recently updated IOS6.

     

    This is not my experience. If you have your apps on your iPhone, but delete the files in the Mobile Applications directory

    and then you delete the app in iTunes.

     

    the app icon on the apps page of iTunes has an !.

    The app is deleted from iTunes so there is no ! after the app.

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