How To Download iOS Apps From iCloud Without Syncing

One of the great new features of iOS 5 is the inclusion of the iCloud service.  iCloud allows users to automatically sync items such as Apps, iTunes music purchases, and books that have been downloaded on a particular iDevice to other iDevices such as the iPad, iPod, or the iPhone.  I for one think this is a great feature, but at the same time I don’t always want apps that I download on my iPad 2 to also download to my iPhone 4S.  Correcting this is easy, all you have to do is go to Settings -> Store -> and then slide the button to OFF for apps.  That’s all fine and dandy, but what if I do want to download an app I found on my iPad 2 to my iPhone 4S?

Before iOS 5 and iCloud I would have to USB sync my phone to my Mac and then sync the new app to it.  That is not the case now, because even though you may not have apps automatically syncing via iCloud you can still access them on your iDevice via the App Store.  To accomplish this fire up the App Store app on whichever iDevice you want the app on, and click on the Updates section.  You’ll now notice that there is a Purchased section within the Updates tab in the App Store.  If you click on Purchased every app you’ve ever downloaded on any iDevice will be listed there.  You’ll also notice that you can download apps that you’ve already purchased, and/or downloaded on other devices.  Those apps that aren’t on the iDevice your currently using you’ll see a little cloud icon indicating that you can download the app.  If you click on that you’ll be taken back to the store where you can then download and install the app.  Once that app has installed you’ve successfully downloaded an app that you purchased elsewhere without having apps automatically syncing via iCloud.  Freaking brilliant!

I love the ability to do this, because like I mentioned I don’t want to download a huge app on my iPad 2 and have that same memory hog get pushed to my 16GB iPhone 4S.  But I do want to be able to download apps manually if I purchased them on one iDevice and not the other, so this process works just fine.  I’ve outlined it again after the break with screenshots for reference.  Happy app downloading!  You’ve been needed this functionality…

Manually Downloading Apps from iCloud Without Auto-syncing

  • Launch the App Store
  • Click on Updates

  • Click on Purchased
  • Click on the app you wish to download to install it

  • Bingo Bango Bongo!  You’re done, and it should just work!

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Tags : App Store SalesiCloudiOS 5
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.