What happens to iPhone apps on upgrade?
May 24, 2009 4:38 AM   Subscribe

If I upgrade my iPhone, can I move my App Store apps to the new phone?

With all the recent talk of a new iPhone model coming out this summer, it got me wondering what would happen to all the apps that I've bought through the App Store. Can they be re-downloaded for free on to the new phone? Can I work some magic with iTunes? Or do I lose them all and have to buy them all over again?
posted by perrce to Technology (10 answers total)
Best answer: When you get a new iPhone the first thing it will do when you sync it with iTunes is download all your apps (and of course your music+videos). You don't have to buy them again.
posted by birdherder at 5:03 AM on May 24, 2009

Someone correct me but I think its a 5 Apple device (iTunes/iPod/iPhone/Apple TV) limit per iTunes account. You can only have 5 copies of iTunes per account. If you buy a new PC/Mac and decide to throw away/recycle/give/erase away or whatever your current one, go into iTunes, Click store and hit de-authorize computer.
posted by glenno86 at 5:53 AM on May 24, 2009

Sorry you can only have 5 *authorized copies of ^
posted by glenno86 at 5:54 AM on May 24, 2009

Best answer: The 5 limit applies to computers, not to iPhones/iPods/etc. You'll be fine, just make sure to sync your old iPhone before you get your new one, and go under the "Apps" tab. There is an option there to back up your apps to the computer, make sure that is checked. That way they are synced from your computer and you won't have to re-download all of them.
posted by shinynewnick at 6:16 AM on May 24, 2009

And they can be re-downloaded for free on the new iPhone as well. My wife and I have both of our iPhones tied to one iTunes account/computer, which means if she purchases an app I can download it as well for free. The only downside is that the app store doesn't tell you if an app has been downloaded/purchased unless it is already installed on that phone. But if you are certain you already purchased that app before, and click the $1.99, put in your password, it will pop up with a message that this app update is free because you've purchased a previous version.
posted by shinynewnick at 6:19 AM on May 24, 2009

FYI, for anyone concerned about the 5-computer limit and crashed machines/lost machines, I recently discovered that Apple's website allows you to de-authorize all machines (including ones you've reformatted, lost, sold, etc), which will reset your limit to 5. You can then re-authorize the ones you're still using. This only works once a year, though, and only if you have all 5 authorizations used already.
posted by Alterscape at 7:03 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Be sure to sync and backup your old phone before getting the new one.
posted by beowulf573 at 7:56 AM on May 24, 2009

to jump in here - what about data stored on the iPhone (for example, I have a password program that I suspect keeps the data only on the iPhone)?

Actually, I use and iPod touch, but same diff.
posted by deliquescent at 2:38 PM on May 24, 2009

Programs keep any data you input into them within themselves. This is partly for security reasons and partly because it makes life simpler. Apps can access Apple's shared resources — your address book, photos and the like — but data unique to the app is stored within the app. Therefore, backing up the app(s) in question also backs up their data.
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 3:07 PM on May 24, 2009

Yes. They aren't tied to the phone. My wife and I basically share applications since we're syncing off the same computer.
posted by chunking express at 8:35 AM on May 25, 2009

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