App evaporation

Date:27 September 2012 Tags:, ,

Q I’ve downloaded an app for my iPad that Apple has since removed from the App Store. Am I going to lose this the next time I update iOS?

A It depends on who yanked the app and how you’ve backed it up. According to Apple, if a developer pulls its app from the App Store or stops supporting it, then that app will be restored to your iPad or iPhone after you do an OS update. Your purchase will be stored in Apple’s iCloud service and, after the update, your iOS device will restore and you’ll get the last version of the app before the developer retracted it. If, on the other hand, the app was removed because of a violation of Apple’s App Store guidelines, then it will, indeed, disappear when you update iOS.

But it doesn’t have to. If you back up your iOS device to your computer via USB, those apps are stored locally on your computer. Apps are fi les like any other fi les (if you’d like to reveal their location, you can right-click on any app in iTunes and select Open Folder in Windows or Show in Finder on a Mac). If you back them up to an external drive, you can always just drag your apps back into iTunes after an iOS update, then sync your device and get your lost app back.

If Apple removed an app that you paid money for and you didn’t back it up, the company will usually make you whole again if you submit a claim through iTunes customer service. So don’t be bashful about asking for cash back.