iPhone 3.0: On-Device App Download from Multiple iTunes Accounts?

We mentioned the new Store Setting tab just a short time ago. daveizzle on Twitter made the observation that this functionality makes it seem like you could theoretically sign into one account, download apps, sign out, sign into another account, and download apps from that account as well, all onto the same iPhone or iPod touch. Boom. Support for multiple iTunes accounts right on the device.

Why would that be interesting? Say your spouse had already bought a $9.99 app. App Store lets the same account re-download that app to the iPhone without a second charge, so it becomes a way to "share" applications (as long as you trust the person enough to put your iTunes password into their device). Another scenario would be a UK users wanting to download a US-only app. They could log into a US account, download the region-restricted app, then log out and log back into their own, local account.

Note: This has been possible all along via syncing from iTunes. Any apps downloaded from any account would transfer over to the iPhone. This merely extends the purchase and/or download process to the iPhone, further releasing iTunes tethered hold.

(Of course, since you can't re-download music for free, and you can't download movie or TV show videos directly to the iPhone, this pertains only to App Store content -- likely to prevent Big Media heads from 'sploding).

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

iPhone 3.0 Beta 4 Notes Sync... Requires Mac OS X 10.5.7...?

Next up →

Review: Krusell Classic Case for iPhone 3G

Reader comments

iPhone 3.0: On-Device App Download from Multiple iTunes Accounts?


I've been long awaiting this feature because I had an old account that I used to share with my dad and have a few paid apps and now don't have now i've got my own account and have some paid apps.

are there no piracy issues here?
sign in with your account on someone elses phone, redownload the apps, sign out and change your password. end result both you and your "friend" have the app?!?
granted this is great that people will be able to use a us account when needed winks at rene but without good protection it could be quite a problem

Maybe iTunes will bind the downloaded app to the specific iPhone at first sync, alas no piracy?

Good News, I don't like to have to sync my phone every time I want to download an app from my US Account. Too bad they can't do it for iTunes store as well but I can understand for reasons mentioned by others.

my friend is a developer and he sent me the itunes 8.2 file but when I open the file up and ready to install it says itunes 8.1.1. ?
is this is what it supposed to say?

more important is the ability to activate and use an iPhone with out ever needing to own/have a computer. This is really important for growth to the masses

Compassionate for the vast canvass, but I'm truly warm the new Zune, and comedian this, as easily as the fantabulous reviews many tally graphical, leave cater you settle if it's the reactionary deciding for you.