iOS 4.3.3: Enabling Automatic Downloads

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed off iCloud during his World Wide Developers Conference keynote on June 6, he made sure to point out that iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users would be able to purchase songs, apps and books on one device and they would automatically download to their other iOS devices, too. Instead of making us wait until fall for iOS 5 and iCloud to roll out, Apple made Automatic Downloads available now, and the feature is easy to enable.

To enable Automatic Downloads on your iOS 4.3.3 device, do this:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Store
  • Tap the Off slider to enable Automatic Downloads for Music, Apps, and Books books individually.
  • Automatic Downloads works only on Wi-Fi networks by default. To enable auto downloads over 3G data networks, enable Cellular.

Automatic Downloads SettingsEnable Automatic Downloads in iOS 4.3.3’s Store settings

Automatic Downloads needs to be enabled on every iOS device where you plan to use the feature. Since settings are per-device, you can mix and match settings. For example, you could set your iPhone to auto download only music you purchase on other devices, but set your iPad to auto download music, books and apps.

With Automatic Downloads enabled, you’ll be able to buy music, books and apps on one device and share your purchases with your other iOS devices without needing to connect any of them to iTunes on your computer.

Automatic Downloads is just one of the many new features Apple will be including in iCloud when it replaces MobileMe this fall. It’s also a big step in Apple’s plan to make iOS devices stand-alone computers instead of keeping them bound to computers for data backups, file transfers and music downloads.