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If ever there were a sport to completely nerd out about, it’s baseball. Geeks across America have been crunching data for years on what makes certain players or teams so great.

But most people don’t care whether one team has a slightly elevated chance of winning the wild card this year because their DH’s slugging percentage is off the charts. They just want to see some home runs. We dug into the gritty details to figure out exactly how to hit one. You can even try it out for yourself.

Use a composite bat

Wooden bats make a beautiful cracking sound as they hit a ball, but if you’re going for a home run (and you’re not a major league player), you should pick a composite bat. In order to get the ball to go farther, you have to make it come off the bat faster, and a key way to do that is to make the bat-ball collision as energy-efficient as possible.

A baseball already loses about half its energy deforming as it hits a wooden bat. If you watch in super slo-mo, you can actually see it squish to essentially half its width, then bounce back. That’s because wooden bats are solid, forcing the ball to do all the compressing in the relationship. But composite (as well as metal) bats are hollow. When the ball impacts them, they squish down a bit and then—and this is key—they bounce back out, returning some of that energy from the compression back into the ball. This is called the trampoline effect, and it’s the main reason that non-wooden bats outperform their tree-based compatriots by so much.

Oh, and get one that’s end-loaded

Whether you pick a light or heavy bat doesn’t end up having much of an impact on the batted ball speed (more on that later). Confusingly, the stat that really matters isn’t written on any baseball bat in any store in America. What you really want to know is the moment of inertia, which is essentially where the balance point of the bat is. Two bats with exactly the same total ounces can have very different moments of inertia and will feel different when you swing them. An end-loaded bat is harder to swing, whereas balancing the weight towards the handle makes even a heavy bat feel lighter, and thus you can swing it faster and control it more easily.

But here’s the key: “If swung at same speed, the bat with the larger moment of inertia will hit balls faster.” That’s according to Dan Russell, a professor of acoustics at Penn State who studies vibrations in baseball bats. “Moment of inertia matters way more than the weight, but no manufacturer lists moment of inertia, and I have no idea why. I’ve been asking that for 20 years.”

To figure out the moment of inertia on a bat, you can try to balance it on one finger. The closer you have to balance it to the wide end of the bat, the higher the MOI and the faster you’ll be able to hit the ball (assuming you’re strong enough to swing it at the same speed).

Pick a park that’s hot, humid, and at high altitude (bonus if the wind’s at your back)

Since your goal is to hit the ball as far as possible, you want the air to help you out as much as it can. Dense air produces more friction with the ball, slowing it down, so diffuse air is best. The air is already less dense at high altitudes because there’s less atmosphere above the ballpark to compress the gases all around you. Heat will also help, since the molecules will spread apart, and humidity will mean light water molecules will displace heavier atoms, further aiding your ball’s trajectory.

All these changes probably only give you a few feet more, but that can be the difference between a pop fly and a homer. For even more help, having even a five mile per hour breeze blowing the ball toward the outfield can tack on another 18 to 20 feet.

Get a ball with low-profile seams

Yes, that’s right, even the seams matter. Baseballs are held together by stitching, and having flat seams will make the ball travel farther because there’s less drag as it flies. Just by lowering the seam height a fraction of a millimeter, you can get another 10 to 15 feet out of the ball. Shell out the extra bucks for the Official MLB balls—they have the lowest seam profile available.

This unnecessarily artsy photo of a baseball at least shows you the seams up close Pixabay

Swing as fast as possible (or: swing a heavier bat)

As we’ve been saying, the most important thing about your swing is simply how fast it is. The faster you swing the bat, the faster you make the ball go, and the farther it travels. Alan Nathan, a professor emeritus of physics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says for every one mile per hour you add to the ball’s exit velocity, you get another five feet.

In theory, if you could swing every bat at equal speed, you’d want to get as heavy a bat as possible. You’re trying to reverse the ball’s momentum—it’s coming at you, and you want to change its direction. Momentum is just mass times velocity, so at a given speed you want a heavier bat to increase its momentum, thereby changing the ball’s momentum as well. Heavier bat; more efficient swing.

There’s just one problem. “At some point, you simply can’t swing a bat fast enough to make up for the increased weight,” explains Nathan. “You lose more in bat speed than you gain in having a more efficient swing.”

Your ability to control the bat is also reduced with a heavier bat, but let’s assume that you’re only hitting fastballs thrown straight over the plate for simplicity’s sake.

For most standard players, the weight is really just about preference—the trade-offs of having a light versus hefty bat cancel each other out. You go heavy, you swing slower. Go light, and your swing speeds up. Assuming you don’t care so much about maneuverability, though, your ideal bat is the heaviest one you can swing real fast.

Hit the ball right on the sweet spot

Since you’re aiming for the most efficient bat-ball collision possible, aim to hit with the bat’s sweet spot. All bats vibrate when something hits them—that’s why you feel a sting in your hands when you’re batting—but those vibrations represent lost energy that could have gone into increasing the ball’s speed.

The sweet spot is a complicated idea, and it’s not even really a single spot: there’s sort of a sweet zone about two inches wide on every bat where there are no vibrations produced. This has to do with the way waves (vibrations are a kind of wave) travel through solid objects. Suffice to say that all solid objects, including tennis rackets and hockey sticks, have these nodes where they won’t vibrate at all if struck. Everywhere else, they vibrate. On the ultra high-speed cameras inside major league parks, you can actually see these vibrations (Nathan’s page has a bunch of them)

You can find the sweet spot on a wooden bat by holding it by the knob and tapping it with a baseball all along its length. If you’re hitting hard enough, you should feel vibrations most of the time, but about two-thirds of the way to the end there will be a small area where it will feel more solid, and the bat won’t vibrate at all. That’s the sweet spot.

Angle the ball between 25 and 30 degrees

So, once you’ve picked the right ball and the right bat and the right stadium, and you’ve swung as hard as you possibly can, all you have to do is nail the angle. Nathan says the optimum launch angle is between 25 and 30 degrees (above parallel with the ground). That’s the right balance between having the maximum distance traveled and still having enough lift for the ball to exit the park.

And voila! You’ve hit a home run. Next up: the majors.

You're reading The Ultimate Guide To Hitting A Home Run

The Ultimate Android Tethering Guide

Tethering: It’s one of the most convenient features your smartphone has, yet carriers insist on restricting it.

Tethering most often refers to using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot. In other words, it lets you connect to the Internet on your laptop, tablet, or Wi-Fi enabled device, using your phone’s data connection. Tethering is very useful if you happen to be in an area that has no free Wi-Fi and you need to do your computing on a device other than your phone.

[Related: How to tether your iPhone]

Carriers don’t really want you to use this oh-so-convenient option, because users who tether are more likely to use a lot of data. After all, it’s much easier to use data when you’re browsing on a laptop or a tablet, than when you’re limited to your smartphone’s tiny screen. You might argue that, since most mobile plans feature limited data anyway, it shouldn’t matter how you happen to use that data. But some carriers disagree, and will typically charge an extra $20 to $50 per month for tethering plans.

Tethering on your carrier


You may or may not have heard the news: Verizon recently announced that, thanks to an FCC investigation, it will stop blocking its Android users from downloading and using third-party tethering apps. This means that Verizon’s Android users on usage-based plans can avoid the $20 tethering fee by using a third-party app instead of their phone’s built-in tethering option (called Mobile Broadband Connect).

This doesn’t mean that all tethering on Verizon is free, though?it’s not. Here’s the breakdown:

If you have a new Verizon “Share Everything” plan, you can use your phone’s built-in mobile hotspot feature or a third-party tethering app free of charge? but you’re limited to the data in your Share Everything data pool. Overage rates for shared data plans are $15 per gigabyte.

If you have an old usage-based data plan, you can now use a third-party tethering app free of charge. You can also use your phone’s mobile hotspot feature for an additional $20 per month (per device), which also gets you an additional 2GB of data.

If you have an old unlimited plan, you are technically required to pay $20 per month for tethering? whether you’re using a third-party app or your phone’s mobile hotspot feature. However, Verizon has no way of knowing if you’re using a third-party app to tether.


AT&T was not part of the FCC investigation that forced Verizon to allow third-party tethering apps on Android phones, so AT&T still charges for all tethering. Unlike Verizon, AT&T never blocked third-party tethering apps from its phones?rather, it monitors its users’ data habits, and sends them text messages and emails telling them that if they do not stop tethering for free they will be automatically signed up for an AT&T tethering plan.

Here’s how much it costs to tether on AT&T:

If you have a new AT&T Mobile Share plan, you can use your phone’s built-in tethering app, as well as a third-party tethering app, for free?but it will sap data from your shared data pool. Overage rates for shared data plans are $15 for each gigabyte of data you go over.

If you have an older, usage-based data plan, you can use your phone’s built-in tethering app, as well as third-party tethering apps, for an additional $20 a month per line, which will also give you an extra 2GB of data.

If you have a grandfathered-in unlimited data plan, tethering is not an option?you’ll have to upgrade to a (limited) tethered plan, or AT&T will upgrade you automatically if it suspects you’re tethering.


Sprint is the only carrier that still has unlimited phone data plans. However, Sprint does not allow you to tether on your unlimited data plan. Instead, you’re required to purchase a tethering option, which gives you a couple of gigabytes for tethering (though your phone will still have unlimited data).

Here are your options (or lack thereof) on Sprint:

If you have an unlimited data plan (and you do, because Sprint requires all smartphones to be on an unlimited data plan), tethering will cost you $19.99 a month for 2GB of data and $49.99 a month for 6GB of data. This means you’ll be able to use 2GB or 6GB of tethering data, but you’ll still have unlimited data as long as you’re just using your phone.

If you have a usage-based data plan on your Sprint tablet, you can purchase the same options (2GB for $19.99 per month or 6GB for $49.99 per month) for tethering. In this case, tethering data is also separate?it does not come out of your bucket of usage-based data.

If you go over your 2GB or 6GB limit, you’ll be charged an additional $0.05 per MB?which equals a whopping $51.20 per additional GB.

Some people may have the old tethering option of 5GB for $29.99 per month, and they will be allowed to keep this until they change plans


T-Mobile will be introducing a new unlimited data plan in September. However, this unlimited plan will not support tethering. Instead, customers who want to tether their phones will have to use one of T-Mobile’s existing value or classic plans.

Here’s the breakdown of T-Mobile’s tethering costs:

If you have a usage-based 2GB data plan, you can add tethering to your plan for $14.99 a month. This gets you an additional 2GB of data.

If you have a usage-based 5GB or 10GB plan, tethering is available at no additional cost. Tethering takes data from your existing data pool of 5GB or 10GB.

If you have an unlimited data plan, you’re not allowed to tether. T-Mobile does not allow the use of third-party tethering apps on its network.

Third-party tethering apps for Android

There are two ways to tether on your Android phone?you can use your phone’s built-in hotspot feature, which may or may not incur charges from your carrier. Or you can use a third-party tethering app.

While most carriers (AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) do not technically allow the use of third-party tethering apps, many third-party tethering apps are still available and will work on phones on those networks. Whether you use a third-party app for tethering is at your discretion, since networks will often charge you if they discover you’re using tethering data and not paying for it.

Remember, if you do choose to use a third-party app for tethering, it’s a good idea to be conservative about how much data you use. If you only tether your laptop to your phone’s data connection to check email on the fly, your carrier probably won’t notice. But if you’re constantly streaming Netflix videos on your tablet using your phone’s data connection, your carrier will probably get suspicious?especially if you have an unlimited data plan.

Numerous third-party tethering apps are available today, including apps for rooted and nonrooted phones. Here are a few of the better options:

Tethering apps for nonrooted phones

PdaNet: PdaNet is a free download on Google Play, but this only gets you a 14-day trial. After 14 days, the app will block access to secure websites (websites that require a login) unless you purchase the full edition for $15.95. PdaNet allows you to tether your phone’s data connection to your laptop using a USB cable or Bluetooth dial-up networking, or to turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot (though the Wi-Fi hotspot mode does not work on all phones).

EasyTether: EasyTether is a USB tethering app, which means it lets you share your phone’s data connection with your laptop via a USB cable. It also lets you tether your game console (PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, or Xbox) using PC Internet Connection Sharing (you need to go through a computer first to tether your console). EasyTether has two versions: a free Lite version and a paid $9.99 version. The Lite version blocks secure websites, instant messengers, and game console tethering. The app supports Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. As of this article’s writing, EasyTether was still blocked on Verizon devices.

Wifi Hotspot & USB Tether Pro: Wifi Hotspot & USB Tether is primarily for turning your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot (complete with password), but it also allows you to tether your phone’s data connection to your computer via USB. This is yet another app with a free version (so you can see if it works on your phone) and a paid version that costs $14.99. The Lite version gives you a two-day, five-minutes-per-day trial.

The Reverse Tether app

Reverse tethering lets you tether your computer’s Internet connection to your phone so that your phone connects to the Web using your laptop?s connection. This is a much less common scenario, since it’s rare that you’ll find yourself in a place where your computer has an Internet connection but your phone does not. If you do find yourself in this situation, however, you can use the Reverse Tether app to share your computer’s Internet connection with your phone.

Reverse Tether is a $4.99 download in the Android Market, and requires a rooted Android device. To tether your computer’s Internet connection to your phone, all you need to do is download the app, make sure your device’s drivers are installed on your computer, and connect your computer to your phone using a USB cable.

Since Reverse Tether does not work with all Android devices, you can also download a trial version

for free to see if it works. The trial version lets you connect only during certain times, but it never expires.

Linking to your laptop

Tethering doesn’t apply only to your phone’s (or computer’s) data connection. The AirDroid app lets you wirelessly manage your phone from a browser window on your laptop. This can be useful if you’re at your computer anyway, but you want to be able to do things like listen to music that’s stored at your computer, write text messages, and organize your phone’s contacts.

From the AirDroid main screen, you can manage files, organize call logs, check and write text messages, look at photos, watch videos, play music, organize contacts, and install apps. Your device does not need to be rooted for AirDrive to run, but if it is rooted you’ll have access to a couple more features, such as seeing your device’s screen in real-time and taking screenshots.

The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Perfect Smartphone For Travelers

But not all smartphones are created equal when it comes to travel. Some are better suited for taking great photos, while others have longer battery life or are more durable. So how do you choose the best smartphone for your next trip?

Here are a few things to consider:

Camera: If you’re a photography enthusiast, you’ll want a smartphone with a great camera. Look for a phone with a high-resolution sensor, a wide-angle lens, and optical image stabilization.

Battery life: If you’re planning on spending a lot of time on your phone while you’re traveling, you’ll need a phone with a long battery life. Look for a phone with at least a day’s worth of battery life on a single charge.

Durability: If you’re going to be traveling in rough conditions, you’ll need a phone that can take a beating. Look for a phone with a rugged design and a water-resistant rating.

Global compatibility: If you’re planning on traveling to multiple countries, you’ll need a phone that’s compatible with the local cellular networks. Look for a phone that supports GSM, UMTS, and LTE networks.

Features: There are a number of other features that you may want to consider, such as a built-in GPS chip, a long-lasting battery, or a large screen.

Some of the best smartphones for travelers in 2023:

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: This is the best all-around smartphone for travelers. It has a great camera, a long battery life, and a rugged design.

Google Pixel 7 Pro: This phone has one of the best cameras on the market, and it’s also very fast and easy to use.

OnePlus 11 5G: This phone is a great value for the price. It has a fast processor, a long battery life, and a great camera.

iPhone 14 Pro: This phone has a great camera, a long battery life, and a beautiful display.

Motorola Moto G Stylus: This phone is a great choice for travelers who want a phone with a built-in stylus. It also has a long battery life and a great camera.

Sony Xperia 1 IV: This phone has a triple-lens camera system with a 12-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 10-megapixel telephoto sensor. It also has a long battery life and a water-resistant design.

Huawei P50 Pro: This phone has a quad-lens camera system with a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 40-megapixel ultrawide sensor, a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor, and a 64-megapixel periscope telephoto sensor. It also has a long battery life and a water-resistant design.

Asus ROG Phone 6: This phone is designed for gamers, but it’s also a great choice for travelers. It has a powerful processor, a long battery life, and a large screen.

These are just a few of the best smartphones for travelers in 2023. No matter what your budget or needs are, there’s a phone out there that’s perfect for you.

Tips for choosing the best smartphone for travel:

Consider your budget: Smartphones can range in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. Decide how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping.

Think about your needs: What do you need your smartphone for while you’re traveling? If you’re a photography enthusiast, you’ll need a phone with a great camera. If you’re planning on using your phone for navigation, you’ll need a phone with a good GPS chip.

Do your research: Read reviews of different smartphones before you make a decision. This will help you narrow down your choices and find the best phone for your needs.

Check the compatibility: Make sure that the phone you choose is compatible with the cellular networks in the countries you’ll be visiting. You can check the compatibility by looking at the phone’s specifications or by contacting the manufacturer.

Consider the size and weight: If you’re going to be traveling with your smartphone, you’ll want to consider the size and weight of the phone. You don’t want to be carrying around a heavy or bulky phone if you don’t have to.

Think about the features: There are a number of other features that you may want to consider, such as a built-in GPS chip, a long-lasting battery, or a large screen.

Factors to consider when choosing a smartphone for travel:

The operating system: If you’re used to a particular operating system, such as Android or iOS, you’ll want to choose a phone that runs that operating system. This will make it easier for you to use the phone and find apps that you’re familiar with.

The security features: If you’re going to be traveling to countries with less secure networks, you’ll want to choose a phone with strong security features. This will help protect your personal information and prevent unauthorized access to your phone.

The warranty: If something goes wrong with your phone while you’re traveling, you’ll want to make sure that you’re covered by a warranty. This will ensure that you can get your phone repaired or replaced if necessary.


Choosing the best smartphone for travel can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By considering your needs and budget, doing your research, and checking the compatibility, you can find the perfect phone for your next trip.

I hope this article has helped you choose the best smartphone for your travels. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

The Ultimate Ios App Development Guide 2023

How to Start Your App Development Project?

Xcode is a free integrated development environment (IDE) from Apple that’s used to create iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps. It’s a powerful tool for developers of all skill levels and can be used to create amazing mobile and desktop applications. In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to set up a project in Xcode for iOS app development.

Step 1: Install Xcode

Before you can start developing iOS apps, you’ll need to install Xcode. You can download Xcode from the App Store or directly from Apple’s Developer website. Once you’ve downloaded and installed Xcode, you’re ready to begin your project.

Step 2: Create Your Project

Once Xcode is installed, it’s time to create your project. To do this, open Xcode and select “Create a new Xcode project.” On the next screen, select “iOS App” as the template for your project.

Step 3: Choose Your Project Options

Next, you’ll need to choose the options for your project. Select the language you want to use (Swift or Objective-C), the type of device you’re developing for (iPhone or iPad), and the user interface you want to use (Storyboard or Code).

Step 4: Design Your App

Now it’s time to design your app. If you chose Storyboards as your user interface option, then you’ll be able to drag and drop elements onto the canvas to create your app. If you chose Code as your user interface option, then you’ll need to write the code for your app in either Swift or Objective-C.

Programming the App with Swift

Create the ViewController class: Open the ViewController.swift file and create a new class called ViewController that inherits from the UIViewController class.

Set up the view: Inside the ViewController class, override the viewDidLoad() method and add any necessary subviews.

Connect the outlets: Connect any necessary IBOutlets to the storyboard or nib file so that they can be accessed in code.

Set up Actions: Connect any necessary IBActions to the storyboard or nib file so that they can be triggered by user interaction.

Customize the ViewController: Add any additional methods or properties that are necessary for customizing the behavior of your ViewController.

Implement data source methods: Implement any necessary data source methods for loading or displaying data in your ViewController.

Finalize initialization: Call any additional setup methods that need to be called before the ViewController is displayed to the user.

Step 5: Add Resources and Assets

Once you have your app designed, it’s time to add any resources and assets that you may need for your app. This could include images, audio files, videos, etc. You can add these resources either by dragging and dropping them into Xcode or by adding them manually via code.

Step 6: Test Your App

Now that you have all the pieces of your app in place, it’s time to test it out. You can use the built-in simulator in Xcode to test out your app on different devices and operating systems. You can also use real devices to test out your app if you have them available.

Step 7: Debug Your App

If there are any bugs or issues with your app, now is the time to debug it. Xcode has a powerful debugger that allows you to step through your code line by line and identify any issues with your code. You can also use breakpoints and logs to help identify any issues with your code.

Step 8: Publish Your App

Once all of the bugs have been fixed and your app is ready for release, it’s time to publish it! If you want to distribute your app on the App Store, then you will need an Apple Developer account in order to do so. Once you have an Apple Developer account set up, then you can submit your app for review on the App Store.

Setting up a project in Xcode for iOS app development is a straightforward process that requires some planning and organization but isn’t overly difficult. With this tutorial as a guide, you should be able to easily create a project in Xcode and begin developing amazing iOS apps in no time!

Create Your App

Ios 7: The Ultimate App Store Guide

The App Store app is the hub used to download additional apps on an iOS device. Out of the box, the iPhone only comes bundled with a handful of stock apps. The App Store app allows you to choose from hundreds of thousands of apps to download on to your device.

Apps can be anything from productivity tools, to games, to periodicals. There is a wealth of apps available to download in the App Store, and while some may come at a price, many of them are free.

It’s good to become familiar with the App Store’s features, because this is the only place where you can download additional software on a stock iOS device. Check inside as we journey through a detailed explanation of the App Store.

Table of contents

Basics What is the App Store app?

The App Store app is a default app that appears on all iOS installations. It allows you to browse, search, and download digital applications from a large library.  Apps can be downloaded directly to your iOS device via the App Store with no syncing required. Outside of the occasional firmware refresh, the App Store is the only way to add new software to your iOS device.

New apps appear on the App Store each day. Developers can select which day they would like an app to be released. New apps are released at 12AM internationally.

Each Thursday, Apple refreshes the App Store to highlight its new and noteworthy releases. You’ll find Editors Choice picks, the App of the Week, and more.

Viewing an app in the App Store

When you open the App Store, you’ll be brought to the Featured tab by default. The Featured tab contains a panel at the top of the interface that constantly scrolls to display promoted apps. You can tap on one of these apps, or you can tap on any of the apps or sections listed on the Featured tab. You can also use the remaining four buttons at the bottom of the interface—Top Charts, Near Me, Search, or Updates—to discover new apps.

The App Store’s Featured tab makes it easy to discover new apps

Once you settle on an app, you can find more information about the app by tapping on it. Tapping on an app brings you to the app detail view. This view allows you to learn more about the application. Keep in mind that not all apps include all of the following pieces of information. A lot of what you see here is dependent on whether or not a developer wishes to provide the necessary information.

In the app detail view, you’ll find the following:

App name


Developer name

In-App Purchases

User rating


Details tab



What’s New



In-App Purchases

Version History

Developer Apps

Developer Website

Privacy Policy

Reviews tab


App Store Ratings

Write a Review

App Support


Related tab

That’s quite a bit of information stuffed into one place. Let’s break down each of these sections and find out what you should expect.

App name

Sometimes an app’s name will be shortened in the discovery section of the App Store, or even when the app icon is present on the Home screen. The app detail view will provide you with the full name of the app.

Lots of information pertaining to the app is listed here


Next to the name of the app lies its rating. This is useful for determining if content is appropriate. The available ratings are as follows:

4+ – akin to a G-rated movie

9+ – akin to a PG-rated movie

12+ – akin to a PG-13-rated movie

17+ – akin to an R-rated movie

Developer name

Beneath the name of the app, you’ll find the name of its developer. The developer name is linked, so that when you tap on it, it will take you to a page containing all of the other apps on the App Store created by that developer.

In-App Purchases

If an app offers in-app purchases, you will see a sentence stating so under the name of the developer.

User rating

You will see five star glyphs that signify the user rating of the app. A lot of times, especially if an app is new or unpopular, it will not be rated at all. User ratings have been the source of a lot of controversy over the years, because there have been rumblings that the ratings can be easily influenced by sly, and perhaps unethical, marketing tactics. User ratings are graded on a five-star scale. Only users that have actually downloaded the app are eligible to provide a user rating.


To the right of the user rating lies the current price of the app. For the US store, the price can be free, $0.99, and increase thereafter by $1.00 i.e. $1.99, $2.99…$9.99, etc. If you see a little plus ‘+’ sign in the upper left-hand corner of the price box, this means that the app is universal and works on both the iPhone form-factor and the larger iPad form-factor.

If you’ve already purchased an app under the Apple ID currently logged in to the iOS device, the price button will be replaced by a download button. If you’ve already purchased and have downloaded the app, the download button will be replaced by an Open button.

Details tab


Every app submitted to the App Store is required to include at least one screenshot to showcase how the app looks. If you tap on a screenshot, you can enlarge it for easier viewing.

Scrolling through multiple app screenshots

If an app features multiple screenshots, you can scroll through each screenshot while in the enlarged view. Tap the Done button in the upper right-hand corner to get back to the app detail view.


A brief description of the app will automatically display under the Description heading, however, you can view the full description by tapping the blue “…more” button beneath the abridged text.

Quite the lengthy app description

What’s New

The What’s New heading contains the new features added to an app’s latest update. To the right of the What’s New heading lies the date when the app was last updated.

The What’s New section shows details about the latest update


If an app supports additional special features, i.e. Game Center, you’ll find details explaining how deep the support goes.

This app supports Game Center


Detailed information about the app

The information heading contains a wealth of metadata regarding the app. Under information, you’ll find data like the following:

Seller – The company selling the product

Category – The genre of app

Updated – Date of last update

Version – Release version

Size – How big the file is in MB/GB

Rating – i.e. 4+, 9+, 12+, etc.

Compatibility – The iOS version requirement, i.e. Requires iOS 6.0 or later, and the device compatibility, i.e. Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, etc.

In-App Purchases

If an app offers in-app purchases, which are micro-transactions that occur within an app, you’ll see a list of available in-app purchases if you tap on the In-App Purchases panel. The In-App Purchases panel contains a list of each in-app purchase, included its description and price.

The In-App Purchase details

Version History

There was a time when users were not privileged to see the version history of App Store releases. That all changed with iOS 7.

Detailed information pertaining to different versions of the app

The Version History panel contains a list of previous updates released for an individual app. Each version listing contains the date it was released, features added, and version number.

Developer Apps

The Developer Apps panel contains a list of every application released by the developer of the app you’re viewing. If the developer is prominent, the Developer Apps panel may included a stylized heading and background.

Other apps developed by the same developer

Developer Website

The Developer Website panel links directly to the website of the developer in question. A lot of times developers will link to a support page for a particular title. When submitting apps to the App Store, the developer can choose what to link to. Links open using the stock Safari browser.

Most developers have a website to facilitate communication with customers

Privacy Policy

Like the Developer Website panel, the Privacy Policy panel links to a developer’s external website.

The privacy policy link should point to the developer’s privacy policy page

Reviews tab


If you have your Facebook account connected to your iOS installation, you can Like an app on Facebook by tapping on the blue Like button.

If you have your Facebook account linked, you can Like apps directly from the App Store

App Store Ratings

Users are allowed to provide reviews—both star ratings and detailed reviews—for apps that they download. The App Store Ratings section is a culmination of all of the star ratings and detailed reviews received.

You’ll see two tabs beneath the App Store Rating section—one for Current Version, which is for the currently released version of the app, and one for All Versions.

App Store ratings for current and all versions

Beneath the two versions tabs, you’ll find a ratings graph for the app. The graph accounts for all one, two, three, four, and five star reviews.

Write a Review

Below the review graph, you’ll find a button to submit a review of your own. You must have purchased or downloaded the app before you are allowed to submit a review.

Creating a simple review

The Write a Review interface is simple; it looks like an email. There are three sections to fill out when composing a review, and all but one of them is optional. The first section, the star rating, is mandatory. The Title and Review body is optional. You can choose to provide just a star rating, or provide a detailed review.

Creating a detailed review

Once you’ve finished your review, tap the Send button in the upper right-hand corner to submit it. If you change you mind, and would instead like to cancel the review, you can tap the Cancel button in the upper left-hand corner. If you wish to change your review, you can tap the Write a Review button again, and update your review.

App Support

The App Support button, which resides to the right of the Write a Review button, takes you directly to a page designated by the developer for support issues.

The app support button links users to the developer’s support page

Detailed reviews

Below the Write a Review and App Support buttons, lie the detailed reviews. These reviews appear when a user reviews and app and decides to write a detailed review.

 An example of the many detailed reviews available

The detailed reviews are accompanied by the star rating provided at the time of the review. If a review is lengthy, you will find a blue “…more” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the review. This button allows you to expand to view the full review.

Related tab

The Related tab contains each app submitted by the same developer, as well as a “Customers Also Bought” section for app discovery. If a developer only has one app submitted, then the “More by developer” section will be omitted.

Apps related to NBA Game Time

What is a universal app?

A universal app is an app that runs on both the iPad and the iPhone. Universal apps are beneficial because it means that you only need to purchase one copy of the app and it will work on both devices. Of course, you can run any iPhone app on the iPad, even iPhone-only apps that have not been created with larger assets needed to look good on iPad. You cannot, however, run iPad-only apps on the iPhone.

Universal apps take the guesswork out of the equation. You simply know that the app will work perfectly fine regardless of screen size. Some developers, though, choose to create designated iPad apps and iPhone apps for whatever reason.

Although the label isn’t exactly fair depending on the circumstances, developers who use this practice are often labeled as “double-dippers.” Keep in mind that creating a universal app isn’t always financially feasible, or even reasonable from a development standpoint. Some iPhone apps are so different from their iPad counterparts, that it wouldn’t make sense to make it a universal app.

Notice the ‘+’ sign on the buy button. This denotes it as being a universal app

The bottom line is that universal apps are generally a good thing. You can tell if an app is universal by the ‘+’ sign that appears in the upper left-hand corner of its buy/free/download button.

How to download apps

Find the app that you want to download and visit its detail view. Tap the blue buy button near the upper right corner of the detail view interface. The buy button may contain a price, like $0.99, or it may say FREE. Either way, you will be asked to submit your Apple ID or Password. You will need a valid credit or debit card connected to your account to make purchases.

Downloading an app using Touch ID

If you have a Touch ID enabled device and you have iTunes Purchases enabled for Touch ID, you will receive a pop-up asking you to verify your fingerprint. You can verify your fingerprint or choose to tap the Enter Password button to enter the Apple ID password manually. You may also tap cancel to cancel the purchase.

If you’ve recently made a purchase via the App Store, there is a small grace period for purchasing additional apps without needing to re-verify your Apple ID credentials. If you’ve already purchased an app, and wish to re-download, you won’t be asked for your Apple ID credentials at all, regardless of whether or not you fall within a purchase grace period.


Once you purchase an app and begin the download process, you’ll see a cylindrical progress meter appear next to the app. The app in question will also appear on your iOS device’s Home screen, and you’ll see a cylindrical progress meter appear on top of the app icon until the download and install process is completed.

You can cancel a download by tapping on the progress meter to stop the download. You can cancel a download and delete the app by going to the Home screen, placing the device into wiggle mode by tapping and holding on an app icon, and tapping the ‘x’ button that resides in the upper left-hand corner of the app icon in question.

Canceling and restarting a download

A download can be paused via the app icon on the Home screen. Tap the progress meter that resides on the app icon once to pause, and again to un-pause. Pausing can only be performed during the download process. Once an app gets to the install process, it cannot be paused.

Pausing and resuming a download

Deleting apps

Apps can be deleted by going to the Home screen and tapping and holding on any app icon to place the device into wiggle mode. Once in wiggle mode, tap the ‘x’ button in the upper left-hand corner of the app that you wish to delete.

Deleting apps is super-easy

How to update apps

In iOS 7, updating apps can be done one of two ways. You can update apps manually by visiting the Update tab at the bottom of the App Store interface, or you can enable automatic updates in the iTunes & App Store preferences in the stock Settings app. Updating an app does not require you to verify your Apple ID credentials.

Updating an app—notice the Update All button in the upper right-hand corner

Re-downloading apps

Like updating an app, re-downloading an app does not prompt you for your Apple ID credentials. Purchased apps can be re-downloaded as many time as you desire on any device (up to five devices) associated with your Apple ID.

The cloud icon indicates that an app can be re-downloaded free of charge

Instead of a buy button, you’ll be presented with an iCloud download button, which is indicative that the app is already purchased and lives in the cloud awaiting your download.

App Categories

There are two-dozen app categories available on the App Store, and even more when you consider that some of the categories, like games, are broken up into sub-categories.

There are tons of different App Categories

Here is a list of all of the categories available. Categories in bold have sub-categories.







Food & Drink


Health & Fitness








Photo & Video



Social Networking





The Games, Kids, and Newsstand categories contain sub-categories, which break each section down into an even more granular level. Here are the sub-categories for those three sections:














Role Playing







Kids 5 & Under

Kids 6-8

Kids 9-11

Newsstand (these items are downloaded to the Newsstand app folder)

Arts & Photography


Brides & Weddings

Business & Investing

Children’s Magazines

Computers & Internet

Cooking, Food & Drink

Crafts & Hobbies

Electronics & Audio


Fashion & Style

Health, Mind & Body


Home & Garden

Literary Magazines & Journals

Men’s Interest

Movies & Music

News & Politics

Outdoors & Nature

Parenting & Family


Professional & Trade


Sports & Leisure


Travel & Regional

Women’s Interest

App categories come into play on both the Featured and Top Charts tabs at the bottom of the App Store interface. We will talk more about the tabs in a later section of this guide.

App Collections

Apple places highly curated groups of related apps into collections, and makes them available within the main Featured tab of the App Store, and within individual App Categories.

App Collections are great ways to find new apps

New collections are frequently added and are placed in prominent positions within the App Store. Here is a list of some of the collections now available on the App Store’s Featured tab:


Only on the App Store

Editor’s Choice


New to the App Store?

Get in Shape

As you can see, App Collections can vary and have a wide spectrum. App Collections are even more diversified when you begin digging into different App Categories.

Each Thursday, Apple updates the App Store and frequently includes new App Collections or updates existing App Collections with new titles.

Sharing & Wish List

Each app detail page contains two buttons in the upper right-hand corner of the screen—Sharing & Wish List. The Sharing button allows you to Tweet about an app, post to Facebook about an app, and Mail or Text info about an app. You can also copy the link to a particular app, or share app information via AirDrop.

Adding and removing a Wish List item

Your Wish List can be accessed from anywhere within the App Store app by utilizing the Wish List button in the very upper right-hand corner of the interface. Tapping the Wish List button will display all of the items currently in your list, and you can purchase any of those items directly from that page. You can also use the Edit button in the upper left-hand corner of the Wish List page to delete entries from your Wish List.

Once you are finished viewing the Wish List page, tap the Done button in the upper right-hand corner to go back to the main App Store interface.

The second option available when tapping the Sharing button for a paid app, is the Gift button. The Gift button allows you to gift an app to an email address of your choosing. You can use an email addresses from your Contacts or type a new email address from scratch.

Sending an individual app as a gift

The Send Gift page allows you to attach a small note to the recipient. It also allows you to choose a specific day for sending the gift. Once you have your recipient filled out, tap the next button to select the type of gift card you want to send. There are several styles available for you to choose from, styles appropriate for the type of gift that you wish it to be.

Once you have selected the gift card style, you’ll be asked to confirm the details of your gift. Tap the Buy button in the upper right-hand corner of the Review page, and the purchase will complete.

Redeeming gift cards

At the bottom of the Featured tab, you’ll see a button that says Redeem. Tap the Redeem button and you will be asked to confirm your Apple ID password. Once you confirm your password, you can begin the gift card redemption process.

You can redeem a gift card using the camera or by typing the code in manually

There are actually two ways to redeem a gift card in iOS. You can use the camera to take a picture of your gift card’s code, or you can enter the code manually.

Sending gift cards

To send a gift card, tap the Send Gift button located to the right of the Redeem button at the bottom of the Featured tab. The Send Gift interface is very similar to the interface you see when you want to gift an individual app. You’ll need to provide an email address to send the gift to, and if you wish, you can add a message that’s up to 200 characters in length.

Creating a new gift card to send to someone

You’ll need to select the denomination of your gift card. There are three canned values—$15, $25 and $100—but you can enter a value manually by using the Other button as long as its value is between $15 and $100.

Again, like the individual app gift giving process, you’ll need to select a send date and a gift card style. Confirm your gift before tapping the Buy button in the upper right-hand corner of the Review page.


There are five tabs located at the bottom of the App Store interface, and each tab has a special use case. Check the sections below to glean details on each tab.


The Featured tab is perhaps the most popular tab of the App Store interface. For starters, it’s the tab that you land on when launching the App Store for the first time. It’s also the tab that receives the most prominent changes every Thursday when Apple updates the App Store.

At the top of the Featured tab, you’ll find an eye-catching scrolling featured box that contains links to popular apps and App Collections. At the very bottom of the Featured tab, you’ll see three buttons: Redeem, Send Gift, and Apple ID. We’ve discussed the Redeem and Send Gift Buttons above, but we’ve yet to discuss the Apple ID button.

The Featured tab is the go-to tab in the App Store app

The Apple ID Button will display your current Apple ID (if logged in) and allow you to View your Apple ID, Sign Out, or use iForgot to find your password or ID. If you’re not signed in, the Apple ID button will show “Sign In” instead. When you tap Sign In, you can choose to use an existing Apple ID, or create a new Apple ID.

One last thing. In the upper left-hand corner of the Featured tab lies the Categories button. As mentioned earlier, here is where you can drill down to featured apps found in specific App Categories.

Top Charts

The Top Charts tab can also be broken down into specific App Categories by utilizing the Categories button in the upper left-hand corner.

Paid, Free, and Top Grossing sections in the Top Charts tab

Near Me

If you have location services enabled for the App Store app, then you can use the Near Me tab, which is a new edition to iOS 7. The Near Me tab allows you to see a few of the apps that are popular in your current geographic location.

Location Services for the App Store must be enabled to use Near Me


One of the best ways to go about discovering new apps is to use Search. While searching doesn’t always turn up the best or most appropriate result, it’s pretty good at finding what’s popular. Search uses predictive text to help you complete searches in a timely fashion.

Searching the App Store

Tapping on a search term or performing a search will bring back a grid of search results, starting with what iOS thinks is the most appropriate result. You can view the total number of results from your search on the right-hand side of the search bar.

Search results will display the name of the app, the app icon, the buy button, its rating, and a screenshot from the app. You can tap on the screenshot or on the app icon to load the app’s detail view.


Available updates and recent updates are displayed in the Updates tab. Available updates are updates for apps that have yet to be downloaded, and they feature a button to update the app. Recent app updates display a date when the update took place along with a button to open the app.

All apps appearing under the Update tab contain a What’s New link for showcasing all of the new features added to the latest update. You’ll also find a version number and the size of the update.

The iPhone Updates tab

In the upper right-hand corner of the Update tab lies an Update All button. Tapping this button will cause all available updates to process.

If you’re on an iPhone, you will notice a Purchase button at the top of the Update tab. This Purchased button, which is broken out into its own tab on the iPad version of the App Store, allows you to view all of your previous purchases going back to your very first purchase.

The iPad version of the App Store features dedicate Purchased and Updates tabs

The Purchased interface features two tabs for filtering the information displayed. The first tab shows all purchased apps, and the Not on This device tab shows all purchased apps that haven’t been installed on the device.

You can search through your purchased apps in order to assist with locating a specific app that you downloaded in the past. All purchased apps can be re-downloaded free of charge.

Settings Apple ID

The Apple ID section allows you to Sign In and Sign Out of an Apple ID. It’s the same interface used for the Apple ID button at the bottom of the Featured tab in the App Store. If you need to login with a particular Apple ID, you can use this link, or the link at the bottom of the App Store app itself.

Apple ID settings

If you make a new app purchase on another device, and that app can be used on your current device, then your current device has the ability to automatically download the app in question.

Automatic app download and automatic update toggles


A handy new feature for iOS 7, Automatic Updates makes keeping your apps updated a painless affair. iOS will periodically check to see if updates are available and download them automatically. This is a great option for users who forget to check the App Store.

Use Cellular Data Conclusion

The App Store has been a breakaway success for Apple over the past few years. It is the model that all competitors strive to match. App discovery is assisted by means of well-curated App Collections, and the ability to easily re-download previously purchased apps is a wonderful feature.

The App Store has flourished, but this is no time for Apple to rest on its laurels. Here’s hoping that Apple continues to build on its success and furnish an even better App Store experience in its next version of iOS.

Ios 7: The Ultimate Itunes Store Guide

Interested in making a digital media purchase on your iPhone? The iTunes Store app is your primary portal for doing so. The iTunes Store app is a stock application that is installed by default on every iOS device. It allows you to make digital media purchases for a variety of media types.

The iTunes Store app works in tandem with the stock Music app and the stock Videos app to provide users with a rich digital media experience. Check inside for details covering the ins and outs of this long running stock application.

Table of contents

Basics What is the iTunes Store?

The iTunes Store is the main digital store where iOS users can purchase music, TV shows, movies, ringtones, and audiobooks. Movies can be rented from the iTunes store as well.

Previewing content

Upon launching the iTunes Store app, you’ll notice three main sections: top, middle and bottom. The top of the interface contains buttons for genres, featured items, charts, and Wish List. The middle of the interface contains all of the actual content available, which includes things like artwork, preview buttons, purchase buttons, and the like. The bottom of the interface features five media tabs, four of which are editable to meet your specific needs. We’ll speak about each of the individual tabs in a later section of this guide.

Navigating the iTunes Store app interface

For now, let’s talk about previewing the content available to you in the iTunes Store. The middle of the interface, as mentioned, contains all of the content awaiting your consumption. Each media tab in the iTunes Store app contains a Featured button, which acts a hot-bed for new releases, specials, and popular items.

Featured button versus the Charts button

Next to the Featured button lies the Charts button. Charts, which is also available in each of the other main media tabs, is a spot for highlighting all of the current chart-toppers. For example, inside of the Music tab’s Charts section, you’ll find top songs, albums, and music videos.

Persistent previews are new to iOS 7

To preview content inside any of the main media tabs, simply tap on the artwork associated with that content. If you tap on the album artwork associated with an individual song, the song preview will begin playing immediately. Generally speaking, song previews are about 90 seconds in length, a generous provision that debuted back in 2010.

Watching a movie trailer

For movies and TV shows, you’ll find trailers that you can watch instead of the audio-based previews presented in the Music media tab. For Audiobooks, you’ll find a a 90 second audible preview, but it’s presented in a style that’s slightly different from the traditional song. Ringtone preview lengths are, of course, shorter, since ringtones are less lengthy than a full song.

Listening to an Audiobook preview

We’ll get deeper into the nuances of each media tab in the tabs section later on in this tutorial. Just keep in mind that virtually all content available within the iTunes Store can be previewed to some degree. This helps to ensure that you will be satisfied with your purchase.

Single item view

Each iTunes Store media entity shares the same basic common structure when viewing individual items. The following sections make up the single item view:

The upper area of the single item view

Upper area – contains a link back to previous content, a Share button, and a Wish List button.

Single item details

Item details – artwork, name, author, star rating, purchase links, and other meta data details.

The Details/Songs tab

Details/Songs tab – This tab is the most varied, and differs depending on the type of media involved. For Music and Tones, this tab is named Songs, and contains a listing of all songs included on any particular release. All other forms of media contain some sort of description or summary, perhaps trailers or teasers.

You’ll find additional meta details media items such as Studio, Genre, Release date, Run Time, Size, Format, Network, Notes, etc. For video based content, the bottom of the Details section contains a link to switch between SD and HD quality videos.

The Reviews tab

Reviews tab – The Reviews section is pretty much exactly the same as the Reviews section on the App Store. It features the ability to like an item via Facebook integration, write a star-based review or a detailed review, and read reviews left by others.

The Related tab

Related tab – Here you’ll find content related to the single item that you’re currently viewing. In the case of movies, you’ll find sequels, and other related films. In the case of Music, you might find other albums and singles featuring the same artist. You’ll even find cross media promoted items. For example, you might notice a movie or a music video when selecting related items for a particular album that you like.

How to download content

Speaking of purchases, let’s talk a bit about downloading content. Most of the content available on the iTunes Store is for sale. There are times when you can download items for free, but the primary method for acquiring content from the iTunes Store app is by purchasing, or, as with the case for some movies, renting.

Before you’re able to download anything, you’ll need to ensure that you have an Apple ID logged into the iTunes & App Store section of the stock Settings app. The account must have a valid credit card associated with it before you can make any purchases.

You’ll need to sign in with a valid Apple ID

Once you have the Apple ID created and configured, you can begin making purchases on the iTunes Store. Tap the price box of an item, and you will immediately see the button change to ‘Buy’ in order to confirm your intentions. Tap the Buy button, and the purchase will initiate. If you recently purchased content from the iTunes Store or the App Store, the purchase will complete without verifying your Apple ID password. If you fall outside of this grace period window, which is only a few minutes, you will need to verify your Apple ID password before the purchase is completed.

“Purchasing” a Free TV show via the iTunes Store app

Using the Watch button after download a TV show

Once you’ve complete a download, the Buy button will change into a Play/Watch button. This Play button will link you to the respective app—Music or Videos—needed to play your content.


Sharing items can be performed while in single item view. To learn more about single item view, see the previewing content section above.

Sharing a TV show episode

Tapping the share button in the upper right-hand corner of the iTunes Store app interface will present the iOS 7 universal share pane. From there, you can share links to all of your favorite iTunes Store content via the stock Messages app, Mail app, Twitter, or Facebook. You can also copy the link, Gift an item, or add an item to your Wish List.

Wish List & History

You can easily add items to your Wish List by means of the share button mentioned in the previous section. You can view your Wish List by tapping the Wish List button that resides in the upper right-hand corner of the iTunes Store interface. Unlike the Share button, the Wish List button is always accessible no matter where you are in the iTunes Store app.

Wish List section

The Wish List button is actually comprised of three different sections—Wish List, Radio, and Previews. The Wish List section allows you to see any item added to your Wish List. From there, you can purchase items directly, or tap on them to go into their respective single item view.

The iTunes Store Wish List

You can edit individual Wish List items by tapping the Edit button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. You can then select individual items via the check box to the left of each item in order to prune entries.

Radio section

The Radio section allows you to see all of the songs you’ve listened to on iTunes Radio, along with buttons to buy the song, and artwork that links to its single item view.

The Radio section of the iTunes Store Wish List

The Radio section displays radio plays from any device that you have linked to your Apple ID. You should see a heading to indicate which device a particular song played on.

If you’d like to clear items from the Radio section, tap the Clear button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This clear button will clear all items from the Radio section in one fell swoop.

Previews section

The last section available when tapping the Wish List button is the Previews section. The Previews section contains a list of all of the Music, Tones, or Audiobooks you have previewed before. Like the other sections, you can directly buy previewed content from this view.

The Preview section of the iTunes Store Wish List

If you’d like to clear items from the Previews section, tap the Clear button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This button will clear all items from the Previews section at once.

Redeeming and sending gift cards

The process of redeeming and sending gift cards is exactly the same as it is on the App Store app. For that reason, we encourage you to view those respective sections in our Ultimate App Store guide.


Like the stock Music app, the bottom of the iTunes Store app features several tabs for accessing differing types of information. At all times, you will find five tabs at the bottom of the interface. These consist of four customizable tabs, followed by a More tab.


The More tab is the tab that you’ll need when you want to access the whole gamut of what the iTunes Store app has to offer. It’s a way to access the tabs that haven’t been privileged with access to the bottom of the interface.

The More tab Edit interface lets your customize other tabs

Tapping the More tab opens the More page, which contains five additional tabs. These tabs will differ depending on how you’ve chosen to configure the tabs that already appear at the iTunes Store app interface. By tapping the Edit button that resides in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, you’ll gain access to rearrange any of the nine tabs present.

Drag the icons to the bottom of the interface while while in edit mode to organize any of the nine available tabs. Once you’ve finished rearranging the tabs, tap the Done button in the upper right-hand corner to exit edit mode.


The Music tab is perhaps what iTunes is best known for. After all, iTunes began as a way to manage music, and eventually progressed to the point where it was a purchasing platform for all sorts of media, including music. The iTunes Store features 23 different genres of music, and they are as follows:



Children’s Music

Christian & Gospel






Fitness & Workout






Music Videos









Most songs found on the iTunes Store start at $1.29, but songs can be purchased for as cheap as $0.69 if on sale. Album prices also vary considerably. Many new albums are available for $9.99, even if individual songs are priced at $1.29 and feature more than eight songs. Generally speaking, full albums provide a better “bang for your buck” than buying individual tracks.

Bitrate & Codec

All of the music sold on iTunes uses the AAC codec at 256kbps. Many new albums are now ‘Mastered for iTunes’, which basically means that music is encoded to sound good even at lower bit-rates. For more information on ‘Mastered for iTunes’ albums, check out this link.

Persistant previews

One of the unique things about music in the iTunes Store app is that it can be previewed while you peruse the rest of the iTunes Store interface. Once you begin playing a preview, you can switch tabs and still see the preview of the song, including its progression, a stop button, and a button for purchasing the song.


Switching between Explicit and “Clean” music content

Most of the albums contained within iTunes that features explicit lyrics are marked with a red ‘E’ to signify such. Most explicit albums available on iTunes feature “clean” versions that can be accessed via the Related tab on its single item view.

iTunes Radio

Accessing iTunes Radio directly from the iTunes Store app

Amongst all of the other albums, singles, and featured sections found in the Music tab, is the iTunes Radio section. Tapping any of the items found under the iTunes Radio section will cause the stock Music app to open and begin playing that station.


The Movies tab is unique, because Movies can be purchased and, in some cases, rented. Movies are the only form of media that features a rental option. Here is a list of all of the available genres found in the Movies tab of the iTunes Store app:


Kids & Family


Action & Adventure









Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Short Films





Generally speaking, movies range between $9.99 and $19.99. Sometimes Apple runs amazing deals that allow you to pick up bundles of movies for one low price. For example, three movies that normal retail for $14.99 a piece might be sold for $9.99 collectively. That’s a savings of almost $35.

Standard definition movies are generally cheaper than their HD counterparts, but not necessarily. Usually, you can find the standard definition version cheaper by $2-5 dollars.


Notice the option to buy or rent

Sometimes, Apple will allow you to rent movies instead of buying them. In rarer cases, you’ll find movies that are only available to rent and not available for purchase. This is largely based on deals that have established with movie studios, so not all movies are available to rent. If a movie is available to rent, you’ll see a Rent button underneath the Buy button on the movie’s single item view. Rentals are always cheaper than buying a movie, but you only get temporary access to rented movies, whereas you get lifetime access to movies that are purchased.

A rental only title

Rented movies have a 30-day shelf life, assuming that you haven’t begun watching the movie. Once you start watching a rented movie, you have 24 hours (US) to complete the viewing. If you live somewhere besides the United States, the watch period is extended to 48 hours. Rented movies can be watched as many times as desired within the window periods.


Switching between HD and SD content

Most new movies are available in high definition (720p or 1080p), but you have the option to watch purchasable and rental movies movies in standard definition as well. Standard definition movies are usually cheaper (though, not always) and download faster due to the smaller file size. High definition movies feature an ‘HD’ logo next to the title of the film. You can switch between HD and SD versions of a film by scrolling to the bottom of the single item view’s Detail tab, and tapping the “Also Available in…” button.


If you want a quick and easy way to add ringtones to your iPhone, then the Tones section of the iTunes Store is the section for you. While the ringtones available on the store are severely overpriced in our opinion, it’s hard to argue with the sheer convenience of simply downloading a ringtone and using it immediately.

Ringtones are insanely overpriced

Ringtones can be created by other much-less convenient means, but the fact that Apple has so many tones so readily available makes it an easy sell. You can find the following genres to meet all of your ringtone needs:




Children’s Music



















Sound Effects

Like the Music tab, you can preview ringtones found in the Tones tab and they are of the persistent variety. This means that you can preview a ringtone and browse the rest of the iTunes Store interface while still being able to stop or purchase that ringtone at any given time.

Once purchased and downloaded, you can assign your ringtone directly to a contact or make it your generic ringtone for your entire device.

TV Shows








Reality TV

Sci-Fi & Fantasy




Like movies, TV shows come in SD and HD versions. The HD versions are usually more expensive than their SD counterparts by about a buck.

Season Pass

The Season Pass feature is exclusive to TV shows found in the iTunes Store. Season Pass allows you to purchase an entire season of  a show before all of the season’s episodes have been released. It’s sort of like pre-ordering a full season, which means you don’t have to worry about purchasing each episode individually as it arrives on iTunes.

Purchasing a Season Pass

Season Passes often come at some sort of monetary discount, and at times, include bonus content. Season Passes are only available for TV shows that are currently running on broadcast TV. Shows that have finished airing can be purchased as a full season, which is different than a Season Pass. When new Season Pass episodes arrive, you’ll be sent an email alerting you of the episode’s availability.

Details on how Season Pass works

A Season Pass includes all current and future episodes of a particular show’s season. Current episodes will download immediately after purchasing  Season Pass, and future episodes will download when you sign in to iTunes on your device.


The last media category available in iTunes is the often overlooked Audiobook. The following Audiobook categories are available to choose from:


Arts & Entertainment

Audiobooks Latino

Biography & Memoir




Drama & Poetry



Kids & Young Adults





Programs & Performances

Religion & Spirituality


Sci Fi & Fantasy


Self Development

Speakers & Storytellers

Spoken Word



Travel & Adventure


Breaking the mold of every other form of media available in the iTunes Store, audiobooks are priced with a five cent ending value instead of a 9 cent ending value i.e. $9.95 vs $9.99. Prices of Audiobooks vary greatly. I’ve seen some as low at 5.95, and some closer to the $30 range.


Audiobook previews differ slightly from music and tones previews

Unlike the previews available for Music and Tones, the previews available in the Audiobooks tab are good old fashioned HTML embeds. Each preview is about 90 seconds in length.


The iTunes Store search is a bit different than one might expect. Instead of only searching for the categories of media directly available in iTunes, it searches for media outside of the iTunes Store as well. When you perform a search, here are all the different types of media that you can find:




Podcasts – Podcasts app required

Podcast Episodes – Podcasts app required

TV Seasons

TV Episodes

Books – iBooks Required


Music Videos


Alert Tones

Collections – iTunes U required

iTunes U Episodes – iTunes U required

Courses – iTunes U required

iTunes U Materials – iTunes U required

The search result page features a filter near the bottom of the search box for filtering the type of media that is displayed. You can select the All section to display all of the forms of media, or you can choose the Songs, Albums, or More section to filter the search results.

Search is a powerful way to find a variety of media content

Selecting the More tab will open up a scroll selector at the bottom of the interface, which allows you to select from the following filters:






TV Seasons



Music Videos




The one media type that’s noticeably missing is apps. Apps can only be searched and downloaded via the App Store app. With that in mind, be sure to view our Ultimate App Store guide for more information on downloading apps.


You can use the Genius tab to find additional media that may appeal to you. Genius results are similar to those that you’ll find when using the Music app. The Genius algorithm is able to find Music, Movies, and TV Shows that you may like based on your other content and purchased items.

The Genius page features three sections that return results based on your likes. The three sections are:



TV Shows

Music is broken up into songs and albums. Movies and TV Shows are just a list of movies that Genius thinks you might like. Genius allows you to swipe to rate the movie and TV show picks to help further curate its selections.

It looks like my wife has been using my Apple ID

You can break Genius suggestions down further by using the Genres button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Genius will only return Genres that it thinks you might be interested in, so the list won’t be the exhaustive list that you’d find in other tabs.


The Purchased tab contains a list of all the the purchases that you’ve made on the iTunes Store, regardless of the device that you purchased them on. Purchases are directly tied to an Apple ID, so you’ll find items that you’ve purchased on other devices listed here.

Accessing previously purchases content and downloading

Purchases are broken up into individual types of media. For example, the Music section in the Purchased tab only pertains to songs and albums that have been purchased. The Music section is further broken up into recent purchases, all songs, and an alphabetical list of all music items based on artist name.

The Purchased tab is broken up into different media types

At the top of the music section of the Purchased tab are two buttons for further filtering the music items. The All button displays all purchases, and the “Not on this…” button displays only items that have not been downloaded to the device you’re currently using.

Purchases are broken up into various categories

Purchased button oddity

The Purchased button links to the stock Music app’s Playlist tab

In the upper right-hand corner of the Download tab, you’ll find a Purchased button, which, one would think, would lead back to the Purchased tab in the iTunes Store app. Not so. The Purchased tab links to a Purchased playlist in the stock Music app, that may or may not exist. It’s the weirdest thing, and I don’t see why Apple decided to map this button to the stock Music app, no less to a playlist that can be easily removed by the user.


At the top of the iTunes & App Store preferences, you’ll find a section for entering in your Apple ID. This is the Apple ID that will be associated with all iTunes Store purchases. It’s also the Apple ID that you should use for the account that contains previous purchases that you want to re-download.


The iTunes Store is an app stuffed to the brim with content. It’s an exhaustive collection of some of the best media available. iTunes is the digital entertainment hub, and it’s one of the reasons that people stay locked into the Apple ecosystem.

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