Tutorial: How to Use the iPhone App Store I

As Steve Jobs hyped during the June 2008 Worldwide Developers Conference, the new iPhone App Store launched with more than 500 software titles. It now sports well over a thousand apps. Many of these are free, while others run up to $9.99 or more. It is fairly straightforward to add any of these applications to your iPhone.

The first step is to make sure you have the latest iPhone (2.0) and the latest iTunes (7) update. You should have received a notice the first time your iTunes-enabled computer was connected to the Internet after July 11th. To check, go to the Help menu, then click About iTunes. It should read "iTunes 7". If not, go back to the Help menu, then click Check for Updates. iTunes will then ask if you'd like to download the latest version. (It should be about 70 MB.)

Once iTunes 7 is up and running, a new listing, Applications, will appear under the Library heading in the far left-hand column. Click on the iTunes Store.

On the left side, right under the three big cycling ads, you'll see an iTunes STORE listing with Music, Movies and so on. The last item is the App Store.


The App Store is organized very similarly to the music and movies storefronts. Below the iTunes STORE listing you'll see CATEGORIES, including Books, Games and Lifestyle. Across from the categories second you'll see TOP PAID APPS, featuring the top ten applications of the moment, and below it you'll find TOP FREE APPS, with its respective top ten. The center area is formatted like the other stores: new products, highlighted ads, the hottest apps and the staff favorites.


Choose an application you're interested in. I'm a music junkie, so one of the first applications I clicked on was Pandora Radio, a free Web site that tries to predict new music you may like based on your favorite artists. The original version, at www.pandora.com, seems to work extraordinarily well.

As with other iPhone Apps download screens, clicking on Pandora Radio will show you the company, product, category, release date, version number and file size. You'll also get at least one screenshot and a decent application description. Below the description are the languages, and hardware and software requirements.


You can technically download as many apps as you like - provided, of course, that you have the hard drive space. It will automatically be stored under the Applications tab. However, applications can eat up space on the iPhone quickly.

Plug in the iPhone and you'll find a new tab, Applications, has been added to the iPhone summary page as well. To transfer applications to the iPhone, click the Sync applications box. You can then choose between All applications to do a mass transfer or Selected applications to transfer only certain applications. It will now sync up your applications along with music, movies and the other items when the iPhone is connected.

Finally, your applications can be managed through the Applications tab in iTunes located in the left-hand column. Right click the respective application icon to get more info, delete or otherwise modify it.

In the lower right hand corner you'll see two links: Updates Available and Get More Applications. Get More Applications will send you to the App Store. Updates Available lets you know if any software updates are available for your applications. (Updates aren't usually big modifications, but small improvements like error correction, better security and such, not unlike other computer software.) Expect an update when you first download an application.


Click on the Updates Available link. You'll see a listing of all the available updates. You can choose individual icons, but it's much simpler to click the Download All Free Updates button in the upper right hand corner. Most updates are free, and paid updates must be selected individually.


Your iPhone will also let you know when updates are available via the new icon, the App Store. A number will appear, not unlike the voice mail/missed call notice. However, considering the file sizes, it is better to download it directly through your computer's iTunes and transfer the update to the iPhone. Ditto for downloading new apps, as while the search tools for the iPhone App Store is just as robust as the full size; it's faster and easier to use the iTunes version.



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