Forgive the rant, but I cannot believe what just happened while trying to sync the applications on my iPad with my PC. I literally just lost everything, the applications, and more importantly, the data associated with them. How a company like Apple can design such excellent hardware, yet at the same time create crappy software like iTunes, is beyond me. It's borderline criminal. As a user I should be able to use what I have rightfully purchased on any one of the computers that I own, especially since Apple even leads us into believing we should be able to, with features like: "Transfer Purchases", "Home Sharing", and authorization on up to "5 devices". What total BS. The situation: - I had backed up my iPad on my laptop computer - I used the iPad for a couple of weeks without backing it up, downloading lots of apps, and creating lots of data behind them. - I decided it would be a good idea to transfer the apps to my main PC and backup the iPad, "just in case." - Connect iPad to PC, right click, "Backup". Backup completes - false sense of security established. - Right click and select "Transfer Purchases" menu option which copies all the apps on my iPad to my PC. - Click on Apps tab in iTunes, and check the sync checkbox. Sync iPad, every single app on iPad is deleted. Thanks, iTunes! So glad I "transferred my purchases." - No worries... my data is still in the backup. - I update the iPad software with the plan to restore from backup, but as soon as it finishes updating the software it creates a new backup... OVERWRITING my previous one. All my data - gone. Does it really take a genius to figure out how flawed iTunes is, let alone a supposedly design-centric organization like Apple? What is the point of a backup if it's overwritten on every sync? And why have of all these cool home sharing features if syncing to more than one computer completely demolishes everything on the device? Sharing? Really? Browsing the internet reveals ENDLESS posts about people losing apps, music, data... everything. People are actually safer NEVER connecting their iOS device to their computer. Let this serve as a warning to anyone thinking their data is safe on their iOS device. It is far from it as long as iTunes holds the reigns. If you must connect your device to iTunes, I implore you to do three things: 1. Backup the device first, and copy the backup directory FAR FAR away from the iTunes "MobileSync" backup folder so that iTunes doesn't do you any "favors." 2. NEVER sync with more than one computer for the entire life of the device. If you get a new computer and want to sync with that one instead. Sorry, you're utterly screwed, unless you feel like doing this: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=889096 3. Never store anything critical on an iOS device. And if you must, use applications that sync to the cloud. Apple doesn't seem to care enough about the obvious issues with the way backups and syncing *don't* work to want to do anything about it. iTunes has behaved this way for at least 5 years. It's my own fault for thinking that it changed in that time. Lastly, forgive the rant; I just hope that this serves as a wake-up call for anyone thinking that data on their iOS device is safe - it is not.