Installing apps on multiple devices

Updated
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Q: Based on something I read on the Omni Group website it looks like iTunes apps can be shared. Quote: “Just like music purchased from iTunes, OmniFocus can be installed on multiple iPhone or iPod touch devices.”  This leads me to believe that apps I’ve bought for me can be installed on my wife’s iPhone! Is this too crazy to be true?

– Robert

A: Actually, that is completely true. The iTunes Terms of Service make no distinction between applications purchased from the iTunes App Store and other types of media content. The only exceptions listed are for movie rentals, since these operate differently due to the time-based restrictions.

Provided your wife’s iPhone synchronizes to a computer that is configured for the same iTunes Store account, you can share your purchased applications in much the same way that you can share any other type of purchased content.

Note, however, that since applications cannot be installed manually, you must actually be synchronizing those applications from an authorized computer—you won’t be able to just plug in any iPhone to your computer and drag-and-drop the applications onto it.

If your wife synchronizes her iPhone to a different computer than the one you originally purchased the applications on, simply ensure her computer is authorized for the same iTunes Store account, and then connect your own iPhone to her computer and select File, Transfer Purchases from (your iPhone) from the iTunes menu. This will reverse-sync all purchased content, including applications, from your iPhone back onto her computer. She can then sync those applications directly to her iPhone from there.

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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.