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Friday, March 2, 2018

Do I have to pay for apps, games, and music on an iPhone?

There's a fairly popular myth that I hear from a lot of people with regards to iPhones.

Lots of people ask me

Doesn't everything cost money on an iPhone?

The short answer to this question is, no. Most things you do on an iPhone will not cost you money.

Pretty much anything you do on an Android phone (HTC, Samsung, etc.), is the same thing you can do on an iPhone at the same price. All those popular apps and games from Facebook to Instagram, from Snapchat to Twitter, and Spotify to YouTube, do not cost anything to download. You do have some apps and games that have premium features built into the app that cost money such as Spotify and YouTube, but to download these apps is free regardless whether it is an iPhone or an Android device.

The same is true for apps and games that cost money. Minecraft, for instance, costs money regardless whether it's on iPhone or on Android.

Now, when you get to music, this is where it differs a little bit.

The short answer, again, is that, no, it does not always have to cost you money to get music onto your iPhone. No more money than it would for an Android phone. However, it can be a bit more time consuming.

Lots of people I know have downloaded some type of app that allows them to download music for free. Usually, these apps are illegally downloading music and this is not the way you want to go if you want to support your favorite artist. You can buy music in the Google Play Store, the same place where you can download and purchase various games and apps. Once you purchase a song or album through the store, this song or album is available to you no matter what device you have. They are also available to you on iPhones with the Google Play Music app.

You can also do it the older way where you physically link your Android phone to your computer. Now, lots of people don't have computers because they do everything with their phone. But if you do happen to have a computer, you can still transfer music the old fashioned way by using a USB cable and connecting it to your computer and dragging and dropping music files onto your SD card or into the phone's internal memory. This would be preferable for people who have purchased music through Amazon or iTunes and want to transfer that music over to their Android device very easily. Or if you have CD's and you want to transfer those mp3 files to the SD card or the phone's internal memory. Or...you could illegally download music to your PC and share it to your phone that same way.

With iPhones, not all of these methods exist. The easiest method, and the one that Apple would probably recommend, is for you to purchase music through their iTunes Store music app on your iPhone. Much like the Google Play Store, once you have purchased the song or album here, it is now available on any of your other iDevices such as an iPad or iPod Touch and it is also available to you in iTunes where you have linked your iCloud account. However, as of this moment, I am not aware of any way where you can easily transfer music you have purchased through iTunes Store app to an Android phone without going through a computer, so there is a drawback there for people who may switch sometime in the future but want to keep their music as easily as Google has made it. You can still retrieve your songs through iTunes on a computer and move them over to an Android phone if the Android phone is compatible with that music file.

But with iPhones, Apple has locked down the device for its own protection which greatly limits the ease of using a third party app to download free songs directly to your iPhone. The only methods as of now are to jailbreak or sideload an app onto your iPhone. If you don't know what either of those terms mean, this won't be a route for you. The reason for this is that Apple wants to make sure that iPhones have as little of a chance at being exploited as possible.

One such way is to prevent people from downloading files, such as music mp3 files, from any website on the internet and moving them to the phone. While this doesn't always happen, there are some websites that will insert malicious code into certain files to hopefully gain control of the system. Apple has decided that this is just too great of a risk and has made it near impossible to do this on iPhones.

To get music you want onto your iPhone that is free, you would have to go through iTunes on your computer. This is about the only way to do this for the average iPhone user. But with this method, you can sync just about any song that you want to your iPhone. It does not have to have been purchased through iTunes to be transferred to your iPhone in this method. Most of my own music has been from CD's I have bought over the years and have transferred to my iPhone. I also have friends who still use torrents to illegally download music and transfer them to their iPhone using iTunes.

So the bottom line is that, no, again, you do not have to buy music to put on your iPhone.

The conclusion for this myth is that it is simply not true. 99% of the free apps and games that you get on your Android phone that are available on iPhone as well are also free for iPhones. The same is true for music as well, it will just be a little bit more tedious of a process to get that free music onto your iPhone.

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