Home > Uncategorized > Impossible to recover a discontinued iOS app

Impossible to recover a discontinued iOS app

You may have seen me enthusing previously about “Clips” by Fly Labs, a simple and fluid video editing app which was perfection itself. I wasn’t the only one who thought so, as Google aquihired the company, and shut down the app, removing it from the App Store. 

I had it on my phone, so was happy… and then my phone had serious corruption issues, and hence I was forced to restore it from backup… only to find the app was gone.

So – how do you restore a discontinued app you once had?

You can’t. At all. There are many suggestions on the web, but they relate to older versions of iOS and iTunes. As of last year, every avenue of doing so has been  shut down by Apple:

  • You can’t download the app from the App Store if it’s no longer there. Even if you previously owned it
  • If you backed up your phone to iCloud, you also won’t get the app back. iCloud only backs up your data, and then instructs your phone to restore the apps from… the App Store.
  • If you have another device with the app (such as a family member’s phone), you’re not getting it from them either, even if you share an Apple ID. Apple has removed iOS functionality that once allowed you to copy purchased apps from your phone to iTunes as a .IPA file
  • If you backed up your phone to iTunes in its entirety…. you MIGHT find the app restored. This is something I’ve yet to try

So – for those apps you haven’t yet backed up, it’s too late. Here’s what to do for those you can still download, in case they’re discontinued in the future:

  • In Mac/Windows iTunes, show your purchased apps in the App Store, and click to download them to your PC: that’s still possible. They’ll be downloaded to your iTunes music/data directory
  • Back them up, for good. I use CrashPlan cloud, since it allows me to back up an entire history of my files for as far back as I’ve been using it, with no risk of deleting older backups.

I am naturally going to complain like hell to Apple, and they are naturally going to do nothing about it.

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Categories: Uncategorized
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