Apple’s iOS is the popular operating system used on all iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. One of the key features of the iOS user experience is the use of apps. Pretty much all activity is done within apps, and therefore keeping apps up to date and properly synced across devices (i.e. – computer, iPhone, iPad) is of high importance for users. Syncing of apps on iOS devices is commonly handled through computer software called iTunes. In order to sync apps, music, and movies,the device running iOS is plugged into a computer running iTunes. Within the iTunes interface, the device and its contentcan be seen. Typically apps are selected that should be synced to the iOS device. This is designed to be a very simple process. However, this is not always the case. Occasionally, an activity as simple as moving a song from the computer to the iPhone can result in highly frustrating, complex, and time-consuming scenarios.

Occasionally, when syncing apps, music, or movies from iTunes to an iPhone or iPad, some apps or other content will not sync properly. Perhaps you’ll find out later in the day when you realize the app you wanted on your phone still is not there, despite what appeared to be a successful sync. This can be extremely frustrating! If this case applies, you should consider enabling cloud syncing, which works through the cloud rather than through iTunes. However, keep in mind that only certain settings and items can be synced through the cloud. Most app content like personally acquired music and movies must be synced through iTunes.

If you cannot resolve your problems via cloud syncing, you should try restarting iTunes and iOS before attempting another iTunes-iOS sync. If this still doesn’t work, try also restarting your whole computer before syncing again. Restarting a device, program, or operating system (OS) is one of the most universally successful strategies, since often a program or OS can get hung up in some sort of loop or snag that sometimes keeps a process like syncing from happening successfully. By simply restarting, the computational processes are reset, typically allowing the software or hardware to run as expected. Another common issue users have with iTunes syncing is that sync will be enabled, but certain songs or videos will not be synced. In these cases, the solution to the problem is usually to use the “manually manage music…” or “physically oversee…” option (depending on the software version). Once this option is selected, users can drag and drop media from the computer to the iPhone or iPad. This is typically the best method if a user wants to occasionally move a couple songs from the computer to the iPhone, without engaging in a whole sync of the iPhone.

While iOS consists of some highly sophisticated software, there are still many problems with the software and user experience. Most notable, the syncing experience is broken and annoying for users. The recent introduction of services like iCloud and cloud-syncing go a long way to alleviate some of the irritating issues surrounding the syncing process, since the user can avoid many stressful hours by simply choosing which settings and items should be automatically synced through the cloud. Cloud syncing features are an applaudable development. However, the fact that cloud syncing does not work for all items (most notably, not for music or movies purchased outside the iTunes music store) is incredibly annoying and requires that users must use a combination of cloud syncing and iTunes syncing. This broken system of syncing has no chance to be completely hassle-free until all syncing of all content can be achieved through the cloud. Perhaps this is Apple’s future plan.

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