Grant,

Your conclusions are absolutely correct.  

Several times during a week when I update apps on my iOS devices, I open iTunes 
and update them on the computer, as well, so as to have a good backup version.  

I posted about this a year or so ago but I don't think it was well received as 
this method is somewhat counter intuitive to the classic way apps used to be 
handled.  

Regardless, an excellent post and I hope many benefit from it.

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: viphone@googlegroups.com [mailto:viphone@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of 
Grant
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2016 3:06 PM
To: Viphone List
Subject: Experimenting with app thinning and copying apps from my iTunes library

Hi all,

I believe it’s still possible to sync apps to iDevices from your iTunes library 
as of iOS 10. I just successfully copied an older version of the Tile app from 
my Mac to my iPhone. Once the sync process began, the app showed up on my home 
screen and displayed “loading” just as it would if it were being downloaded 
from iCloud, but I’m pretty sure it was in fact copying from my local library 
and iTunes displayed status info to verify this. Now I’ve successfully rolled 
back the app to the older version.

Based on this, I think we can continue to sync apps from iTunes keeping in mind 
the following caveats:

1. You can’t ever copy in the other direction (from an iDevice to iTunes) due 
to app thinning. However, from the Store tab in the iTunes preferences window 
you can configure your computers to download newly purchased apps 
automatically, thus giving you a local copy in iTunes that can be used later.
2. The auto-download feature won’t keep apps up to date. For example, if you 
have automatic downloads on and purchase BlindSquare for the first time, a 
local copy will download to your computers but future updates won’t 
automatically download—even if you update on your iDevice. To work around this, 
you can manually update from the apps section within iTunes. So, if you’ve kept 
your favourite reading app up to date from the apps section in iTunes and then 
a new version comes out that breaks accessibility, you should be able to roll 
back.
3. I’m not sure what the situation is for devices restored from iTunes backups 
and would love if someone could investigate during their next restore. I 
listened to Jonathan’s podcast and it certainly seemed like apps were being 
downloaded from iCloud so I’m not sure whether there’s a workaround there or 
what might have been happening. However, that would make sense if the required 
content wasn’t available in the iTunes library to begin with or if iTunes 
wasn’t configured to copy apps to the phone.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks,

Grant

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