Share Apps between iPhones

Super Monkey Ball

The fact that my wife and I both have iPhones is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because well… we both have iPhones. But it’s also a curse. It has become another gadget to upgrade, to pimp up and gulp- to depreciate quickly . We were both going to get the 2nd generation iPhones but after weighting in the fact that the original ones are upgradable via software, it became hard to justify the cost of a whole new phone. Sorry, 2 new phones. So we opted for the software update, which gave us in a lot of ways a new phone. The upgrade was free, but the mostly inexpensive apps add up. This got me thinking about Fairplay, Apple’s DRM technology used throughout the iTunes store for music and now applications as well. Fairplay allows you to register up to 5 computers and unlimited iPods/iPhones synced to those computers. So… it should be easy for my wife and I to share iPhone apps with each other as long as both our iTunes are authorized to use them. All we need to do is authorize both accounts in both computers and re-download the apps. This could work in Windows, but why would I right?

Here’s a step by step tutorial on how to do it.


I have 2 Macs, 2 iPhones, 2 iTunes accounts.

I used one account to buy a game, and another account to buy another one. The goal is to have both games playable on both phones legally with no hacks.


Have each computer be authorized for both accounts. Re-download apps on 2nd computer with 1st computer iTunes account.


Step 1: Authorize Computers

I step into my wife’s mac, launch iTunes, log out of her iTunes Store account and log in with mine. 


Step 1: Log Out and In

Step 1: Log Out and In


Still inside iTunes,  I go to the app store and click the Buy App button on the application I had bought in my computer.

Step 2 Re-Download      

Step 2: re-download

iTunes knows I already paid for this and just let’s be re-download it without charging me again.

Step 2: Confirm

Step 2: Confirm

The app then begins to download.

Step 2: downloading     

Step 2: downloading

Once the download is complete, it now shows in the Applications section of iTunes. 

Step 2: downloaded     

Step 2: downloaded


I can now log out of my iTunes Store account and log her’s back in.

Step 1: Log Out and In

Step 1: Log out and in


Step 3: Sync & Play

I can plug her phone in now and sync.

Step 3: sync

Step 3: sync

The app should transfer without any fuss.

Step 3: syncing

Step 3: syncing

Once synced, it shows on her phone ready for playing.

Step 4: play

Step 3: play

And now both our kids can take over our phones and drain those batteries out. 

Step 4: playing

Step 3: playing


120 thoughts on “Share Apps between iPhones

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  3. Wes

    I hesitated a bit when Itunes asked to confirm to buy but proceed, then the window popes up ,saying the app was purchased already and re-download for free. Think this part might help others!

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