Uh Oh… I Erased My Apps… What Now?

On July 12, 2008

Okay, I did something to my iPhone after upgraded and ended up having to reinstall the new firmware. It was working again but timing is everything and it went from bad to worse.

I had just unpacked a MacBook Pro and went to sync my iPhone to it instead of my Air. Uh Oh! Something went terribly wrong. My apps didn’t transfer. My music didn’t transfer. Time for reinstall number three!

By now I had gotten pretty good at installing iPhone firmware and getting everything set up. Hey, practice makes perfect and I was getting a whole lot of practice.

Not much later things were back up and running. There was one tiny little problem. Actually, it was more like a huge upsetting problem

My purchased apps- so far the offerings from Splash, OmniFocus, the apps from Big Stone Phone and FlipSide5 weren’t on my iPhone any longer and, while they were on my Air, I was getting a message that they would not load because the computer did not have permission to load them. 

Yup, I had spent sixty or seventy dollars on applications and I couldn’t find a way to reload them. I went to iTunes help but couldn’t find any information on it. I tried to call support but to no avail.

Come on Apple, you’ve had a full 24 hours- get some documentation up already. It isn’t like you have anything more important going on right now… like dealing with overwhealmed servers or anything.

I was getting frusterated. I sent an email to iTunes support. The emailed response said I would hear back in a day or so. Not surprisingly (to anyone who knows me, at least) my impatience got the better of me.

It was then I discovered that Apple is even smarter than I thought. They had anticipated people being as dumb as I had just been and…

they already had a solution in place!

Getting my apps back was far easier than I expected.

I tried an experiment. On my iPhone I went to the OmniFocus app and clicked "Buy". After putting in my iTunes password I was greeted with the message "You have preivously purchased this application, would you like to download it again for free?"

I clicked "Yes". And… there you go, OmniFocus was back on my iPhone. SplashID was back on my iPhone. TicTacTouch was back on my iPhone. etc.. etc…

Thank you Apple- I take back all the nasty stuff I was thinking!

EDIT: Apple Support was true to their word and got back to me in less than a day. Their email informed me that there is a second way to fix download issues. Simple open iTunes, go to the "Store" tab and click "Check for Purchases". Upon doing so OmniFocus downloaded immediately to my MacBook Pro.