iTunes is for Restore and Backup Only

Having an iPhone is great, well its a great phone.  Great not because I use the iPhone but great because it has the best app UI/UX, reliable, iOS interface is excellent. 

It all goes great till you need to update apps.  If you want to update apps of around 100MB it goes good even with the mobile internet connection or a WiFi, but not for games which at times are over 400MB.  

I generally update the apps from the device, be it iPad or iPhone.  But when it comes to a heavy download size it becomes a problem.  The problem here is that you can update the app on the iTunes but you cannot sync the updated app to the device.  Thinking this as an error, I contacted Apple.  

 The chat transcript between Apple support tech and me is below

Apple Support [name withheld]: That is correct. iTunes is used to manage the apps and file sharing and to store the backups of the app data however it is not for syncing those updates to the phone unless you remove the app from the phone. Then you can install or sync that app to restore the app along with the data.

Me:why would you then want the itunes itself?

Apple Support [name withheld]:At this time we do not offer an app that will backup the phone or sync music from your music library on a computer. iTunes solves that for us. It helps maintain all purchases and backups for multiple devices if a customer has them.

Me:so you are actually telling me that the app update to devices is not available on the itunes, its either you have not thought about it or its a bug

Apple Support [name withheld]:The app update is available in itunes itself just not as a sync to update the apps. With iTunes you can sync new apps or if you delete an app with it’s data then iTunes can at that point sync it to the device. It could possibly be something they are working on at this time to see if it is an option I just do not see that currently.

Me:possibly working on an app update from itunes to iphone/ipad since the iphone 3G?

Apple Support [name withheld]:That I don’t know off hand it might not be possible without causing conflict with multiple devices on the same computer the software department would need to be asked about that. You are more then welcome to submit feedback and request that on to see what they have to say.

So, if I wanted to update an app thats above a certain size then I would need to delete the app on the iPad/iPhone and reinstall after updating using iTunes.

[Image Credit:Apple]


  1. JXG

    Pretty sure that one could sync an app updated in iTunes to an iPhone, but the synced data on the computer must be just before the point you wish to sync the updated app to your iPhone.

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