Has something changed with apps and backing up/syncing?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Errk!, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. Errk! macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #1
    I sync/backup 6 devices to iTunes on my Mac (not iCloud).

    Every once in a while I used to delete the apps in iTunes in an effort to clean things out; I don't need to back up apps that have been deleted on various devices. When I did that in the past, I would re-sync each device and "put back" the apps that were actually used.

    Yesterday before updating to 9.0.2 I removed all of the apps in my iTunes library in one of these periodic clean ups. However, when I went to back my iPhones up, instead of getting the usual message about purchases on the devices not been gin my library, it just backed up like nothing had changed. I started to sync, but cancelled the process not knowing if it would delete apps (and app data) off my iPhones.

    So has something changed? Is it no longer necessary to keep apps installed on my devices in my iTunes library when backing up to iTunes? Is it safe to sync (i.e. music) without fear of losing app data?
     
  2. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #2
    Apps now don't back up to the iTunes library since iOS 9.0.
     
  3. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #3
    So there is absolutely no need to keep apps in my iTunes library?

    What happens when doing a restore? Does it download the apps as it re-installs?
     
  4. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #4
    From my own experience of restoring my encrypted iTunes backup on 9.0 for my iPhone 6 Plus to the new iPhone 6s Plus: even when I clicked on transfer purchases, no apps were transferred at all. I just restored the backup to the new iPhone and after restoring was finished, the phone booted into the Hey Siri set up screen and then the apps started to download like what we saw in an iCloud backup.
     
  5. idanny34 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2014
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #5
    Apps start downloading when the restore is "complete."
     
  6. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #6
    Interesting. I haven't yet done a restore in iOS 9 (and haven't done one at all in a while) but I've never seen it do this before.

    I wonder what the point is of even having an Apps section in iTunes if it doesn't back them up or sync them.

    Your app data has restored OK under this method?
     
  7. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #7
    Yes. App data were all there.

    This is a known issue (or by design) of iOS 9.0 due to app thinning / slicing etc.
    I thought my iTunes was broken due to this abnormal behaviour and did some google search and found that this is a normal phenomenon under iOS 9.0.
     
  8. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #8
    So do we know what the point of the Apps section is in iTunes?

    I would think if it didn't serve a purpose anymore they would remove it.

    I have an app which became almost unusable in a recent update, so I keep a copy an older version of it on my Mac in case it accidentally gets updated on my iPhone. Under the old system I would have just synced my phone, replaced the new version with the old one in my iTunes library, and re-synced. How might I replace it now under this system?
     
  9. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #9
    Yes, I'm really worried about this happening.
     
  10. Errk! thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    #10
    On the other hand, this frees up something like 40gb of hard drive space on my already-taxed HD.
     
  11. Eau Rouge macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    #11
    It still works. I've installed apps onto devices on 9.0.2 that were in airplane mode, so the transfer had to occur over usb.

    You can still perform app installs/updates from iTunes to device, like it was in years past. As stated earlier, apps no longer copy back into the local library, so "Sync" as it's labeled in iTunes is a bit misleading now.
     
  12. doboy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #12
    thanks! I also thought the sync was broken until I read your post.

    You can still do the same. It's important to keep a local copy of important apps since Apple/dev may pull the app. That just happened to me last week and I didn't have a copy on my computer before I deleted it off my phone. :(
     
  13. bbfc macrumors 68030

    bbfc

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle, England.
    #13
    I had this issue last night when backing up my 6. I was worried it wouldn't back up my apps, and no amount of 'transfer purchases' would bring them across. But low and behold it downloaded them all from the cloud and my app data was restored. Which was great since my travel pass is on my phone.
     
  14. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #14
    Wow I had this problem when I was trying to go from my 5S to my 6S+. I thought I was the only one having this issue and eventually gave up. I wished they were local because the internet where I was was awful and I had to go home and do another restore so that the apps downloaded correctly from the cloud.

    Anyhow good to know it wasn't just me.
     

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