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What does it mean to sync apps to iPhone? I don't understand exactly what this does, or why I'd want to turn it on. What are the advantages/disadvantages of enabling "Sync Apps" in iTunes to my iPhone?

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It keeps your content in synchrony. – abc905 Nov 20 '11 at 6:52
My conent? I'm asking about apps. – iAmI Nov 22 '11 at 21:16

This Apple Support article provides a quick summary of what syncing does. Basically, as XAlexOwnZX mentions, a sync copies applications, music, and other information between your iTunes account and your iDevice. This process backs up the content (apps, etc.) on your computer.

The advantage of syncing is that if your iPhone gets corrupted, you'll be able to restore it (or its replacement) to working condition, with all of the purchased content that is installed.

The disadvantage is that syncing takes time - however, with iOS 5, you can choose to sync over WiFi and you don't need to tether your iPhone to your computer.

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If you sync often it doesn't take much time at all. I have a 64 gig iPhone 4S with a lot of stuff on it, takes maybe 15 seconds to sync it (wired) unless I'm adding a ton of stuff all at once. – Richard Nov 20 '11 at 3:14
@Richard, I don't disagree. Many people may not sync regularly, so their syncing experience may differ from that of someone who has a regular sync schedule. – JW8 Nov 20 '11 at 7:18
I'm not asking about syncing in general, but apps specifically. – iAmI Nov 22 '11 at 21:16

If you Sync an iPhone with iTunes, and that phone gets stolen, you will be able to restore all your app data (high scores, spreadsheets, diaries, databases, etc.) from the iTunes backup to your replacement iPhone.

If not, and the apps don't otherwise store data in iCloud or other cloud storage, all that data will be lost.

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Syncing apps synchronizes applications between your phone and your Mac, ensuring that all apps you bought on iTunes and your Mac go to your phone, and that all apps you bought on the App Store on your phone get synced back to iTunes.

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