Do you still sync apps via itunes?


The other day I was syncing my phone to itunes, and it suddenly occurred to me that there is no point wasting bandwidth and time keeping copies and updating all of the apps in my itunes library any more. So I simply deleted all the apps on my mac, and got back a crapload of space. The only possible future pain would be if I had to restore my phone I will need to re-download everything or if I get a new phone/ipad, and I actually see that as an opportunity to refresh and not reinstall stuff I didn’t need.

Since app updates on the phone itself don’t flow back to itunes since ios9, there really isn’t any point keeping local copies of all the apps unless you are really anal about versions and things.

I’m really, really hoping for some massive itunes update announcement at WWDC along with iOS10/MacOS (or whatever they are going to be called).

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Does the iPhone copy across apps when you sync/backup to the Mac?

If not, I’m going to delete all those apps when I get home :smiley:



Not any more since iOS9 and the introduction of “app thinning”.



Indeed, I was trying to keep everything in sync and it just doesnt work anymore. I’ll not delete mine, I like to keep copies of older stuff (eg netflix, which when used instead of the latest, seems to work better when accessing US Netflix and others, and you have to use itunes if you want to do that)



Thanks for raising this; I just regained 150Gig of hard drive space.



I still do. And suddenly, I’m not so sure why - maybe because it’s to do with the convenience of downloading all updates for all apps regardless of whether they’re synced to my iPhone or not?

Why? Who knows. I can’t delete all the apps out of my iTunes library though, because there’s stuff that’s either not available anymore or would be annoying to find in my Purchased list if I had to re-download.

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I know there’s a bunch of apps I have installed on my 128gb phone just because I can, but in reality I don’t use most of them. If I had to restore I’m pretty sure I would start from scratch and install things as I needed them.



I have that strange desire to upgrade to the latest version without thinking too much… so hitting download all updates is just too much for me… and given the apps on the Phone auto update themselves anyway it really is a bit of a waste of bandwidth. Now I know there are apps in there that don’t exist anymore… but of the one or two that I know are still on my phone I wouldn’t lose much sleep if they went away. As @mitty said, I have lots of apps I don’t use installed just because I can.

I’m not 100% if I have it setup currently, but I used to exclude certain things from my TimeMachine backup and the iTunes library used to be one of them. The churn of App updated from every app I’ve ever bought and TV shows I watch on the train really adds up over time taking up needless backup space (and CPU cycles getting it there).



I don’t let any of my apps auto-update. Notifications only.

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At the school where I work we have several iPad Air 2 devices so do sync apps to iTunes as it actually saves bandwidth because you only download apps once. Though I’m now living the operation over to apple configurator. At home I don’t sync to iTunes though occasionally backup to it.



I still sync my apps to my Mac. With the introduction of App Thinning, I prefer to have a full version of the app available. There are also 9 iOS devices in my house, so I find having a copy on my Mac and then syncing the iOS devices to my Mac easier.

I use WiFi sync so the rest of my family don’t even know that their iOS device is being updated somewhere on the house.



I’m in the exact same situation as changa for the exact same reason.



I don’t have that many, but why, oh why isn’t there a ‘Sync All’ button?

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Nope. Here’s why I stopped.

  • I have a 500GB SSD in my MacBook Pro so space isn’t great. Having iTunes library content such as apps or podcasts which change, get deleted and updated frequently doesn’t really work, more often than not the old versions/podcast just don’t get deleted.
  • I don’t sync anymore at all. The last few items were: podcasts (I use iTunes and the Apple Podcasts app. I know, I’m a heathen) it just became too cumbersome and there were too many sync errors syncing podcasts with iTunes, syncing OTA just works fine. PDFs in iBooks, fixed a few months ago, I can now sync these via iCloud.

Non iTunes purchased movies and tv shows. I don’t really have a solution for these, but there hasn’t been anything desperate that I’ve wanted to watch while travelling that I haven’t purchased from iTunes.



Yep. I know that logically it doesn’t matter where the software I have is stored, but I just like to have a local copy on MY machine that I have full control over. Simple (and as paranoid :slight_smile: ) as that.

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App Thinning’s a whole other house of cards at the moment, I have an intermittent issue where apps won’t update, they just have the spinning update circle non stop. I’m convinced that App Thinning’s part of the problem.

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Is there anyway to force an app to copy across from the phone?



No, it’s just not possible any more under ios9.

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I still sync but I no longer sync to the iMac, I’ve got a Windows gaming machine that’s got a 256Gb SSD plus a 2TB storage drive and I keep iTunes on that.

I’d say something like ‘that there’s no way I’d ever fill a 2TB drive’ but sadly it wouldn’t be true :slight_smile:



So I discovered after much hunting around, one of the apps I looked at even has a note and a dedicated page that talks specifically to this “new” innovation under iOS9 and how they had to remove the feature from their 3rd party app too :frowning:
It sort of sucks that there is no option at all, even if it’s a manual one.

Because of my reckless jump into deleting all those apps, it seems that I’ve now been bitten by that decision. When I deleted them all I carefully kept a few that I know are not available anymore. But, as it turns out, one of the apps I wanted to use over the weekend doesn’t exist anymore (if you’re wondering it’s the EyeTV Netstream App which allows me to stream TV from my network tuner to iOS). While the desktop application still exists (and I have a saved copy of most if not all software I use) the iOS version doesn’t anymore.
To be fair on the developer I don’t think they have actively sold this hardware* in at least 4 years and hadn’t updated the iOS app in a few either, it does still work.

I got lucky this time and the was actually still sitting on my wife’s MBA so I was able to grab a copy of it and squirrel it away on my NAS for safe keeping (and in my iTunes library), but if I had of downloaded this under iOS 9 onto the device direct I’d be screwed right now with no way to recover that app (even though it was on a couple of my devices). Does this mean I should be downloading and saving more apps on the desktop? Set it to automatically download all new purchases then keep them all updated just for safe keeping?

*on one of my usual side notes, the Elgato DTT Netstream is still an awesome little box, there are cable and satellite versions of it still for sale, sadly it seems that the app for those doesn’t work with this (now ancient) piece of hardware.