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  1. #1
    apps - to sync or not to sync

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    apps - to sync or not to sync
    I've noticed that although I've not set up syncing for apps, my MobileSync folder contains app data for my iPhone. I've not added any apps to the default set yet but the three apps in the backup manifest seem to be those where I've downloaded content.

    This makes me wonder, other than a quick complete restore if the OS on my phone is corrupt, is there any real benefit of turning on app sync in iTunes? I'm assuming that only apps not containing data are being missed from the at the moment but haven't been using the phone long enough to be sure.

    Before anyone says that disk space is cheap I'll mention that I am getting to the stage of needing to be careful with my iMac disk space and don't want to have to start using an external drive at the moment

  2. #2
    apps - to sync or not to sync
    chas_m's Avatar
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    If app data (such as high scores or similar content) is going to push you over the edge on disk space, you're already WELL over the edge and are OVERDUE to solve your disk space issues. I'd take care of that first.

  3. #3
    apps - to sync or not to sync

    Member Since
    Jun 28, 2012
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    iMac 9,1
    My disk is not filling, it's getting to the stage where I need to be conscious of what I put there to avoid having to do something about it.

    Maybe my question was not well worded. I really want to know what turning on app syncing actually gives me. I'm sure it does not just sync settings and things like high scores which are just log data (not that there would be any of those as I rarely touch a game). Without turning it on I already seem to have nearly 500MB of space used for apps (according to iTunes) and I only have one downloaded mag, a few stocks set and locations set in the weather app. As I mentioned in the original post I have no downloaded apps.

  4. #4
    apps - to sync or not to sync
    mrplow's Avatar
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    You don't need to use iTunes for anything other than syncing music from your iTunes library.

    Everything else you can do on-device.

    I'd suggest using iCloud backup on your iPhone and managing, buying, installing etc your apps purely on your iPhone.

    Without turning it on I already seem to have nearly 500MB of space used for apps (according to iTunes)
    Where are you seeing this?
    External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post

  5. #5
    apps - to sync or not to sync

    Member Since
    Jun 28, 2012
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    Specs:
    iMac 9,1
    Without turning it on I already seem to have nearly 500MB of space used for apps (according to iTunes)
    Where are you seeing this?
    The colour coded indicator at the bottom of the various sync settings dialogs in iTunes when the device is attached.

    Whilst it has limited granularity and I know a lot of stuff ends up in "other", I would have thought anything categorised as "app" really would be an app and the data stored within it. Since clicking once on individual breakdown changes it from capacity to units I can see that the space which it says is used for apps contains only one app (although looking at manifest.plist in the MobileSync folder names three). This is, as I've mentioned, without turning on syncing for apps.

    Where that 500MB might be is escaping me as well. The backup folder in MobileSync is not much over 5MB in size and I haven't found anywhere else it has put data. I'm beginning to think iTunes is just populating that indicator with figures at random.

  6. #6
    apps - to sync or not to sync
    mrplow's Avatar
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    That space bar you're seeing in iTunes is telling you the usage On your phone, not your Mac
    External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post

  7. #7
    apps - to sync or not to sync

    Member Since
    Jun 28, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrplow View Post
    That space bar you're seeing in iTunes is telling you the usage On your phone, not your Mac
    Okay thanks. That makes sense.

    It's still surprising that 1 app (which I am assuming is the reader for the particular magazine I've downloaded in Newsstand and the single issue of the magazine which goes with it) is so big but I suspect there may be compounded rounding up going on so I won't think too much about that.

  8. #8
    apps - to sync or not to sync
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Not sure how you figure there's only 1 app on your iPhone.
    There are over 20 apps there on a brand new phone when you turn it on for the first time.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  9. #9
    apps - to sync or not to sync

    Member Since
    Jun 28, 2012
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    iMac 9,1
    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    Not sure how you figure there's only 1 app on your iPhone.
    There are over 20 apps there on a brand new phone when you turn it on for the first time.
    The 1 app is what is displayed in iTunes. Clicking on the key for the capacity bar at the foot of the iTunes window toggles between size and quantity.

    One of the reasons I posted the original question was it was not clear what is synced. I've seen it stated in some places that all apps are synced and in others that only download apps are synced. Having decided to turn on app syncing I can see that only the downloaded app is copied to the iTunes library. I assume the rest are just considered to be part of the OS.

  10. #10
    apps - to sync or not to sync
    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
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    Under "Library" in iTunes will be only purchased apps that have been downloaded to or copied across to the local machine from your iDevice.

    None of the default apps included as part of iOS are going to be displayed under "Library". Nor are the default apps stored individually on your local machine.

    In the case of a need to restore your device - all the default apps would be re-installed with iOS - while your purchased apps can be restored from your "Library" to avoid the need of re-downloading them.


    Related to the bar which shows you the space on your device - The number of apps only indicates the number of purchased apps you have installed - which can be deleted, while the size indicates the space used by all apps including the default apps. Can only guess they've decided to count apps this way because you can't delete any of the default apps from your device.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

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