Transferring apps to a family member’s iPhone
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: My daughter inherited my old iPhone 4 after I upgraded to an iPhone 5. I bought her a separate instance of the TomTom app, but had her phone as another device on my account. We’ve created her own iCloud account and I’d like to transfer her TomTom app to her account/phone. How do I do that, please?
A: Unfortunately, you cannot transfer a purchased app from one iTunes Store account to another. However this may not actually be as necessary as you think.
Applications are associated with an iTunes Store account, rather than a specific device, and Apple’s policies in this regard are extremely flexible: You can have apps from a single account installed on as many devices as you “own or control”, and you can actually have apps from up to five different accounts installed on a single device.
So in other words you don’t necessarily need to actually transfer the purchased app to her iTunes Store account simply to leave it on her iPhone and allow her to continue using it. There’s no requirement for the user to be signed into a specific Apple ID in order to simply use applications; this is only necessarily to install them or update them using the on-device App Store. Alternatively, you can also simply transfer them on from your own iTunes library on your computer as part of a standard iTunes sync operation. The authorization to use the app is normally transferred along with the actual app.
Note that none of this has anything to do with the Apple ID that she uses for the iTunes Store, iCloud, or any other Apple service on her iPhone. Once the app is installed, she can continue using it normally regardless of which Apple IDs she uses to sign in to any other services on her device. The only exception is that she may need to use your Apple ID and password in order to download updates to an app when and if any do become available. If she lives close by, you could apply these updates for her from your own iTunes library or simply log in with your Apple ID and password on her device; however if this is a problem then it would definitely be a good idea to simply repurchase the app under her own account so that she could simply update it using her own Apple ID and password.
In terms of having “bought her a separate instance” of the app, it should be noted that it actually isn’t even possible to pay for the same app more than once from a given iTunes Store account; once you’ve purchased an app you can re-download it from your iTunes Store account as many times and to as many devices as you like without having to pay for it again. Attempting to “repurchase” an app with the same account that you originally purchased it with simply downloads your purchased copy to the current device.
In the case of TomTom, however, there are several versions available, and of course each one is treated as an entirely different app. If you owned TomTom U.S. & Canada, for example, and then purchased TomTom U.S.A. for your daughter’s iPhone, those would be two separate apps, and you would have paid for that second version in the same way as any other completely different app—probably needlessly so, for the reasons already noted above. Unless you did this, however, you didn’t actually purchase a “separate instance” for your daughter’s iPhone, but just downloaded the copy you already own onto her device.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple recruits two Google Satellite Executives
- Nike unveils new Nike-exclusive ‘Apple Watch NikeLab’
- Prince single ‘Deliverance’ disappears from Apple Music
- Apple releases 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report
- Condé Nast Traveler reveals cover photo shot with iPhone 7 Plus
- Facebook integrating Apple Music into Messenger app
- China meeting with Apple to discuss concerns over live streaming apps
- New Prince single available on iTunes, Apple Music; EP available for pre-order
- Apple makes iWork apps, iMovie and GarageBand free to download
- iDevices Wall Outlet
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartSocket for Apple HomeKit
- Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
- FiiO i1 Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter
- Blue Ella Headphones
- Apple iPad (Fifth-Generation)
- AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon Headphones
- ExoLens PRO with Optics by ZEISS Wide-Angle Lens Kit
- Blue Sadie Headphones
- Circle with Disney Parental Control and Internet Filtering System
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10