Download an app, try it and delete it. We all do it. Wether you are buying from your iOS device or desktop, iTunes is going to keep a copy on your hard drive to be able to transfer it in the future if you change your mind. With some graphic-intense games approaching to the 1Gb mark, the whole storage system in iTunes becomes a joke. But how can you keep those apps save those apps you have purchased? And what happens if they are ever get pulled out from the App Store?
The recently announced iCloud and the iTunes wireless sync has brought our iPhones with an unexpected great feature. Hidden deep in the native App Store app, you can now see—and download directly on your device—any previous app or game you have purchased.
Say goodbye to those app backups on your desktop and welcome one of the advantages of the cloud. The new feature allows you to re-download any app you have deleted from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad and also get those apps you have purchased that are not available any more on the App Store.
To find this new feature you don't need to update or install the lasted iOS 5— it runs on 4.3.3. This was in fact, updated over the air and you might only notice if you read the new terms and conditions. Once you launch the App Store app, you'll notice that the Updates tab—which normally lists the apps that have a newer version available— now includes a "Purchased" section. Note that in iPads there's a new tab called Purchases, no need to go to updates.
The purchased area is split into "All" apps and those "Not on This iPhone". Tapping on that tiny cloud icon will start downloading and installing them directly on your phone, without the need to sync with iTunes. This works pretty much like buying apps from the App Store itself on your device.
However, if have purchased a lot of apps and have difficulties remembering them all, the App Store page of the app won't indicate wether you own the app or not. It's easier to go to the new Purchased tab, use the search function and download directly from there.