iPhone Life magazine

How do I download an app?

iPhone, iPod touch, iPad


AppStoreYou can download apps through iTunes on your computer or through the App Store app on your device. Apple's App Store has an impressive array of apps ranging from popular games and productivity enhancers, to language guides and barcode scanners. Most apps cost between $0.99 and $10, but there are quite a few free apps and a small number that are quite expensive. Here's how you download apps.

You can import new apps by syncing your device with iTunes.

Using the iTunes on your Mac or PC:

  1. If you haven't already, download and install iTunes on your Mac or PC computer.
  2. Launch iTunes.
  3. Click on the iTunes Store link in the left panel.

  4. Click on the App Store button in the top navigation bar.

  5. Click on the "iPhone" or "iPad" button at the top of the screen (iPod touch users select "iPhone").
  6. Find your desired app and click on the "Buy App" or "Free App" button below the app icon.
  7. Enter your iTunes ID and password. (The first time you attempt to download an app, song, or anything from iTunes, you will be prompted to set up an account. If you do not yet have an account, see page 27.)

  8. Agree to the terms and conditions. If you're downloading a paid app, Apple will charge your payment method on file.

  9. Connect your device to the computer. iTunes will recognize it and show it on the left panel.

  10. Click on the icon for your device.

  11. Click on the Apps tab. Here you will see your downloaded app, and the Home screen of your device side-by-side. If the box next to your app icon is not checked, click on it to select it for synchronization.
  12. Click on the Sync button in the lower right corner of the screen.

Using the App Store app on your iOS device:

  1. Download apps on iOS deviceOpen the App Store app.
  2. Locate the app you wish to purchase and tap on the price button associated with the app. It will appear as a specific price (i.e. $3.99) or the word, "Free." When you tap on the button, the price will change to INSTALL APP or BUY.
  3. Tap on INSTALL APP or BUY, and you will be asked to enter your Apple ID password.
  4. Enter your password and tap on "OK." The app will be downloaded directly to your iOS device.

Your iOS device connects to the App Store very easily.


Note: The search features in the App Store app are organized differently than those in the desktop version of iTunes. In the App Store section of iTunes, all of the special sections are listed on one page (New and Noteworthy, What's Hot, Hollywood Hits, Staff Favorites, Top Paid, Top Free, and Top Grossing apps). In the App Store app on your iOS device, the different sections are accessed via the tabs at the bottom of the screen (Featured, Top 25, Categories).


Try free "Lite" versions before you buy

Most of the paid apps are relatively inexpensive, but your App Store bill can expand quickly. When you discover an app that interests you, check to see if a free version of the app is available. These are sometimes referred to as "Lite" versions of the app. They may have fewer features than the paid version or be limited in some other way, but they will give you a good idea if you're going to like the app.