To infinity and beyond...pushing the limits of iPhone apps
So what happens when you reach the maximum number of apps you can install on your iPhone? Does Steve Jobs congratulate you with a phone call? Do bells go off next time you log onto your iTunes Store account? Just what the heck happens? Well, dear readers, I pushed the limit to find out and here is what happened. But first some numbers... There are 16 apps installed by default (and cannot be removed) on an iPhone/iPod Touch. You can install an additional 128 apps plus the 4 in the app bar at the bottom of your screen (the dock, if you will, of the iPhone). This brings the grand total to: 148 apps on 9 screens (this is the max number of screens you can have). This is the most apps can have installed at the moment (OS upgrades may allow more in the future). And yes, I have succeeded in completely filling my iPhone with apps. Perhaps in 2019 there will be an iPhone that can store all 100,000 apps that may be out by then. I just hope they come up with some other way to find and organize them as flipping through screen after screen does get a bit old, even with just 9 screens. But I digress...
Anyway, I was wondering what happens when you go over the digital threshold into the unknown. What happens is this - Your app will install but it won't show up anywhere on your screens because they are full. When you go back to the App download page in the AppStore on your phone, it shows that the app was installed but of course you can't see it on your device and you can't re-download it. The trick is to delete an app and then restart your iPhone/iPod Touch. Then when the device boots up again the app will finally install and will be seen in the space where you deleted a previous app. Whew! I thought my iPhone might start smoking or worse, but alas its not too bad to go over the limit, but it would be nice to get some sort of an alert screen to give you a heads up.
Also, don't worry about deleting an app. The iTunes Store keeps track of what apps you have downloaded, either free or paid, and will allow you to download the app again if it senses that the app is gone from your phone when you next sync it with iTunes. You must be logged into your iTunes account in order for this to work.
Just in case anyone out there is wondering... in the words of The Marathon Man, "Is it safe?" Yes, it is safe so download away.
Keene Haywood (The University of Texas at Austin)