iTunes 10 is here, we've been using it for a while, and now we've got a complete walkthrough for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users. If you're new to iTunes 10, especially if you're new to iOS devices, we'll help you get up and running quickly. If you're already an expert, well here's a guide you can send your new user friends and family. Let's get started, after the break.
If you haven't downloaded iTunes 10, you can do so from Apple.com. Once it's installed, plug in your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to get started.
The Summary section is helpful for checking on updates for your iOS device and restoring it if you run into problems. You can also configure some preferences such as syncing automatically when you plug-in your device. If you use a service like Apple's MobileMe, you won't have to do much on the Info section, but if you don't sync over the air, you can choose/manage what to sync over here such as Contacts, Calendar and Bookmarks.
When you plug in your iOS device you will notice a colored bar at the very bottom labeled "Capacity". This bar is not a new feature to iTunes 10, but it is a tweaked one. It is divided into colors showing you what you have stored on your device by Audio, Video, Photos, Apps, Books, Other and Free space. If you click in the colored space it will cycle you through few options. Click it once and it will list you how many items you have in each respective category. Next it will break down the data into volume such as days and hours. Last, the display will show you the storage taken up by each category. Depending where you begin clicking this sequence may be in a different order, but it is still quite useful.
iTunes 10 brings a couple of welcome changes to how iOS devices manage apps- especially if you have an iPhone/iPod Touch and an iPad. On the Apps section of iTunes on your device you have a filter that is probably default sorted by Kind. This places the iPhone and iPod Touch apps at the top and iPad apps at the bottom. You have more filters such as Name and Category, but the really useful choice is "iPad Only". This selection only displays iPad apps for your iPad. Regretfully, iTunes does not save this filtered selection and the next time you plug in your iOS device, it gets reset to Kind.
You also have a check box at the bottom of the screen that allows you to automatically install new apps. This option works great for me, but not my wife. With this checkbox checked, she gets every app I have downloaded installed on her device. An easy way around this is to go to the preview screen to the right in iTunes and select the last screen. This is typically where new apps will go (unless you have a lot of gapping spaces on your home screen). You can delete the app by hovering over it and clicking the X in the top left corner of the app. You can also remove any other app while you are at it. Be careful though, most apps don't store their info in the cloud yet, so if you delete it, the data might go with it too.
If you have an .ipa file (Apple's app format) you can drag and drop those files to the Apps section in iTunes located in the upper left.
Do you have an app such as Apple iWork Pages that you would like to get some documents installed? Piece of cake. Scroll to the bottom of the Apps section in iTunes for your app device and you will see the Apps and Document area. Click on the app you want and you will see an available list of documents currently synced to that app. If you want to add more documents, click the Add... button, browse to the document(s) and click Choose. If you want to save a document from the selected application, select it and click Save to... to place it on a folder on your computer. Here is an easy tip; of you want to save multiple files from an app or all of them, click the first document then hold the Shift key and click the last document. This selects all of them. Now you can save all of the documents to your computer. You can also Ctrl (PC) and the Apple Key (Mac) to select just the apps you want when clicking on them.
Getting music on your iPhone/iPod Touch or iPad has never been easier. You can choose to sync your entire music library (it won't fit on my device... my library is too big). Or pick your favorite Artists, Genres, Playlists an Albums.
Do you have a lot of music videos? I do, but I don't want to sync all of my videos; that can take up precious space. To still get music videos on your iOS device but not all of them, create a playlist in iTunes and drag the music videos you want onto it. Make sure the Include Music Videos checkbox is checked and you are ready to Rock and Roll, so to speak.
These sections all work relatively the same way. Select played or unplayed content to sync or a playlist. You can even choose more robust choices like the most recent episode that has been downloaded but not played. Yikes, but it is useful so you don't get redundant content on your device.
This section stores all of your Audiobooks and iBooks as well as any added PDF files from your iOS device. You can't add the PDFs from the File Sharing section for iBooks, instead just drag the PDF to the Books section of iTunes in the upper left.
If you use iPhoto or Aperture you can sync those events and projects to your iOS device. On the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch with Retina Displays pictures looks very good. They are also fun to view on the iPad with its huge display. If you really like someone, you can even use the Faces feature and sync over just specific people; that is just too cool. If you own a PC you can sync directly from a folder.
Ah, the only really "new" feature in iTunes 10 for iOS devices (except for iPad running 3.2, gotta wait till 4.2 folks) is Ping, Apple's new social network for music. You can access Ping directly from iTunes via the Ping button from the desktop and iPhone/iPod Touch.
I really enjoy Ping. You can follow other artists, like and post songs and albums. Strangely you can only do this with music, not Audiobooks or Podcasts. I am betting in the future you will be able to.
iTunes 10 brings some great new features for iOS device users, but also adds to what many already consider a bloated application. The good news is you only have to use those features you want and can ignore the rest. iTunes 10 does a great job of managing your digital content on-the-go while adding a modest performance boost to the newest version. Hopefully we've helped get you started, but there are always more tips and tricks to be had so post'em in the comments if you've got'em!