One of the most useful features of iCloud is Automatic Downloads, which--as the name suggests--automatically downloads any songs, apps, or books you buy at iTunes to all of your compatible devices that have the feature turned on. With Automatic Downloads, you'll never again have to wonder whether you've put the right iBooks book on your iPad for your plane flight or the right songs on your iPhone for your car ride.
Enable Automatic Downloads on iOS
- Begin by tapping on the Settings app.
- Scroll to the iTunes & App Store menu and tap that.
- This is where you can manage your Automatic Download settings. You can control Music, Apps, Books (if you have the iBooks app installed), and Updates to new versions of apps (iOS 7 only) here. Slide to On/green any of the kinds of files you want iCloud to automatically download to your device.
- On the iPhone and iPad 3G/4G you'll also have a Use Cellular Data (Cellular on iOS 6 and earlier) slider. Slide this to on if you want your new downloads to be sent over the 3G/4G mobile phone network, not just Wi-Fi. This means you'll get your downloads sooner, but it will also reduce battery life or could incur data roaming charges.
Enable Automatic Downloads in iTunes
To ensure that all your iTunes purchases are downloaded not just to your iOS devcies, but also to your computer's iTunes library, you need to enable automatic downloads in iTunes. Here's how:
- Launch iTunes and open the Preferences window (On Windows, Edit menu -> Preferences; On a Mac, iTunes menu -> Preferences)
- Click the Store tab
- About mid-way through the first section of this tab is Automatic Downloads. Check the box next to the type of file--music or apps--that you want to have automatically downloaded to your iTunes library
- When you've made your selections, click the OK button to save your settings.
With these settings tuned to your specifications, new purchases at the iTunes Store will be automatically downloaded to your devices once the new files have finished downloading to the device that you bought them on.
Want tips like this delivered to your inbox every week? Subscribe to the free weekly iPhone/iPod email newsletter.