Apple’s iTunes program began life as a loading dock for iPods way back in 2001. Eventually, it became an essential partner for our iPhones; we used iTunes to shop for, organize, and sync movies, photos, apps, ebooks, and music to our phones.
Today, though, it’s perfectly possible to use all of an iPhone’s features without iTunes—and even without a computer. You can download all your apps, music, movies, and books right from the Internet, and you can back up your phone using iCloud (see the next chapter).
In fact, you can’t use iTunes anymore for apps and ringtones. In the latest version, Apple stripped out those functions. (When you first open iTunes 12.7 or later, a message lets you know that “iTunes has been updated to focus on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks.”)
Why? Because, after years of listening to consumer complaints that iTunes has become too overloaded with functions, Apple felt that this was one task iTunes didn’t need to handle. Today you have to buy and organize apps and ringtones directly from your phone.
So wait—without iTunes storing app and ringtone backups on your computer, how do you re-download apps and ringtones you’ve bought but don’t currently have on your phone? Like this. On the phone, open the App Store app, and then tap Today → [your icon in the top-right corner] → Purchased → Not on This iPhone.
For ringtones, open Settings → Sounds & Haptics. Tap Ringtone; at the top of the page, tap Download All ...