How to purchase an iPhone app

The following instructions are valid for iTunes 9

First you’ll need to have an iTunes account. To set up a free account click here.


There are many ways to find an iPhone app, the easiest is to click on the App Store tab on the iTunes site. Otherwise, you can search sites like Gizmodo which gives you a more detailed review on the apps.

You can use the search field at the top if there is a specific app you want to find.


For example, to purchase the free IMDb iPhone app (which is essentially a movie database) type in ‘IMDb’ in the search field.

A new page will appear that tells you how much the iPhone app costs. You will also see the list of requirements (which is important because this will determine if the app will work on your phone), ratings and reviews, and much more.

You’ll see a page with screenshots of how the IMDb app will appear to function on your iPhone.


Click on <Free App>

A new window pops open that requests your Apple ID and Password asking you to sign in – because Apple wants to track what you purchase, even when the iPhone app you want is free.

Click on <Get>

To verify that you have successfully downloaded the iPhone app click on ‘Applications’ under the LIBRARY tab.



In order to use your new iPhone app you’ll need to sync your iTunes to your iPhone.

Plug in your iPhone to your computer. The name of your iPhone will appear under Devices.

Click on your iPhone and in the new window click on the tab ‘Applications’.

You will see all of the iPhone applications that you have ever downloaded and not deleted in alphabetical order (or however you have your specific system set up).

To find the IMDb app go to the search field next to ‘Sync Applications’ and type in ‘IMDb’.

Select the IMDb app for syncing by clicking on the box next to the IMDb app to create a check mark.

On the right hand side you’ll see your iPhone screens.

The number of different applications your iPhone can store will vary with your specific iPhone software version. If you are running version 3.1.2, as of posting, the most up-to-date software version, an iPhone owner can have up to 159 apps on 11 screens.

By default iTunes finds the most open screen to place your new app, however you can select a different screen by dragging the icon to a different screen (the ones that appear scrolling down the pages that appear on the right).


Press ‘Apply’ and you’re done!

Related Link:

The Best iPhone Apps of 2009

Hilary Fosdal is the Interactive Content Manager for Barrington Broadcasting Group. She blogs at and tweets @hilaryfosdal.

Tags: , , ,

Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.


Twitter Facebook Google Plus RSS Instagram Pinterest Pinterest LinkedIn

© Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center, 3909 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789 | Contact SPJ Headquarters | Employment Opportunities | Advertise with SPJ