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Purchasing apps


iPF Noob
Jul 13, 2011
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I just can't seem to get a handle on how the purchase of apps (let's say from the App Store) works for someone like me, who has both an iPad and an iPhone. It has been my understanding that if an app is purchased and installed to one of the devices, that it should also be considered purchased for the other device and be installed there automatically when syncing is performed.

I know now that this idea does not always apply, as I have purchased apps that do not ever show up on the other device.

I don't ever see any references to this action when reviewing the apps on the App Store - only that there are compatibility listings (which don't always reflect the REAL applicability to one or the other devices - been "gotcha'd" by that one).

So, what should my expectations be on this?

The most recent app reviews/considerations, which has me thinking about all this again, is the very expensive (comparitively) GPS Map sets - Garmin, Navigon, Tom Tom, which install maps for immediate fetching. I'd sure hate to find out that I have to pay those prices twice to get the one app on both pad and phone. The builtin Map function on the iPad/iPhone has font sizes which are nearly unreadable without me holding a magnifying glass in front of the screen (especially on the iPhone). ( Someone says, "just flick and zoom in... well, we know that the map redraws and the font goes small again.) And, the lack of installed/resident maps on the device, makes using the iPad (WiFi only), on the go, pretty much impossible. I don't need GPS, just maps I can read and are available when there is no 3G.

I digressed on the map thing... the real question here is: what is the convention on buying an app and expecting it to be applicable/installable (without purchasing it twice) to the other device??

Thanks for some thoughts or clarification on this.

Brian - Sent from my iPad using iPF
If an app is universal (has a little + sign) then when you buy it, it should be available to both. An iPad specific app (no + sign) will not load on your iPhone.
"+ sign" ?? Where?

Ok here's an example of my frustration with it all. I installed (from a source other than the App Store) a program called Insomnia. It was a free trial, and I got it onto both the pad and phone. When the trial period was over, apps on both pad and phone were disabled. I purchased the app for one of the devices, but the other device remains disabled and the purchase absolutely did not apply to the other device. Yes, it was not an App Store purchase, but still, it made me shy of spending money (lots in the case of this mapping software I'm considering) for an app that might be good for one of the iDevices.

The above said, I'm still referring to purchases made on the App Store - just to keep it in the right discussion area.

The question still remains. Do I get an app for BOTH units if I purchase it for ONE only, or am I expected to pay twice... occasionally, frequently?

Brian - Sent from my iPad using iPF
My understanding is you only pay once for the app and if you choose to have it download to the other devices it will at no additional charge. That's what I have experienced. Anyone else?
There's a couple of things going on here, which I think you are mixing up:

1) Some Apps only work on the ipad, some work optimized on both the iphone and the ipad, and some are designed to work on the iphone, but the ipad is capable of running in windowed mode (1x or 2x).

2) If you use the same apple ID for purchases on both devices, all apps that you purchase that satisfy the criteria for the particular device will be available on that device at no extra charge. Essentially all your apps can run on the ipad and all of them apart from ipad only ones on the iphone.

Given 1) above, some app developers have separate optimized apps for the iphone and ipad, so in that case if you want the 'best version' for each device you would have to pay twice (although you could just run the iphone version on the ipad).

Hope that helps.
There are a few apps that are specific to each device and you will need to pay to use it on more than one device. I had that happen with one of the calendar programs that I really liked, and then the two devices did not work together on the app. So I removed the apps and got a refund.
I suppose what I'm getting from replies is that there is actually no straight answer. I have an app that was clearly listed as being compatible with iPad2, but it will only display in portrait and 1x.. So I'm not always convinced, when it's listed for a whole bunch of devices, that it's going to look or work right on the iPad.

The matter for me is not functionality... I'm going to be REAL careful about that, considering the nature of my (ahem) OS, but rather finding that I'd have to shell out another $60 if I want the same app (mapping by the GPS apps) on the second iDevice.

I guess I could just write the developers and ask.

Thanks all.

Brian - Sent from my iPad using iPF
Brian, apologies for not coming back sooner....

First off, universal apps have a + sign in the top left corner of the button in the app store with the app price on it. All universal apps should only require one payment and be available on both iPad and iPhone (but be aware, if both devices are not on the same version of iOS then it may not download on one of them).

As for the app called insomnia, I tried to find it in the app store but couldn't, can you provide me with some more details and I'll see if I can figure out what the issue was with that one.

As I tried to "hint," the Insomnia app, is from Cydia, and is a "keep-alive" type app which I was trying to use with the BtStack (also Cydia) for better mouse functionality. It didn't really pan out well... the BtStack, mouse, AND insomnia.

Thanks for the clarification on that Plus sign, and the other stuff. I appreciate it.

Brian - Sent from my iPad using iPF
Ah, in that case you are jailbroken. If you have a problem with any apps from Cydia you should post in the hacking section, the guys there will give you all the help you could ever ask for.....I gave up my JB for iOS 5 but I've just read Leigh's tutorial on a tethered JB for iPad 1 on iOS 5 so I may be joining you again soon.
NYHorsewoman said:
My understanding is you only pay once for the app and if you choose to have it download to the other devices it will at no additional charge. That's what I have experienced. Anyone else?

That's what I thought aswell :)

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