With the number of iPhone applications increasing daily, you can find an application for almost anything you are looking in the App Store from games, cooking, travel, utilities, sports, social network, productivity, news, navigation, and much much more.
In the early days of the iPhone, it was not possible to install applications on the device as there was no App Store and it was a closed system. The only way to run applications was by connecting to the internet and running iPhone web apps through Safari.
Fortunately, those days are gone. The App Store is now is the largest online application store in the globe with over 1 million apps available as of 2011.
Later, web apps became more advanced and many companies modified their websites to look just like an application when opened with any iPhone web browser.
There are two ways to install applications on the iPhone. One way is by using iTunes on your
PC, while the other way is by using your iPhone itself.
Using iTunes to install iPhone apps is pretty simple while I personally don't use it.
Basically, you open iTunes on your Mac or PC, and then go to iTunes store from the left column.
Then, select the App Store tab from the menu bar as shown below.
Select any category from the pull down menu as shown in the picture below.
Now you can browse through all the available iPhone applications in any selected category.
You can also select a category from the pull down menu located on the right side of iTunes. Once you select a category, iTunes will update and display all the applications from that category.
Once you find the application you want, simply click on it to read more information about it. There are free and paid applications.
When you click on the application to install it, you will be asked to enter Apple ID and password. Then, your download will start, and will be stored in iTunes. After you connect your iPhone to your computer either by wire or over wifi, all the iPhone applications that were downloaded to iTunes will be synced to your iPhone.
Using the App Store:
This is the most common and the easiest way of installing applications on the iPhone. There is no need to connect or sync with your computer at all. Simply open the App Store application on your iPhone and select a category, or search for an application.
Once you find the iPhone app you are looking for, simply tap the button that says "Free" or that has a "price" to install the application. You will then go the application description screen where you can tap the "Install" button to install it.
You will then be asked to enter your apple ID, and your password to proceed with the download. Then, the download and install of your iPhone application will start and the app will be ready for you.
The beauty of this method of downloading and installing applications is that it is independent, all what you need is Wifi or 3G/EDGE connection to the internet. The application will be in your hand in a very short time.
The Cydia Store:
There are thousands of other iPhone applications available through other unofficial stores like the Cydia store.
Cydia Store is also growing very quickly and it has many iPhone
hacks and tweaks
that you can't see in the app store. Many iPhone apps are available for free while others cost $0.99 and up in Cydia.
Installing iPhone applications though Cydia is simple, but it is not as simple as installing apps from the App Store.
Using Cydia to install iPhone applications is not an option for everyone. Jailbreaking your iPhone and installing Cydia application is usually for end users and is not an alternative to the App store. It is an additional store that has special hacks and tweaks that you can't find in the App store, and that can enhance you user experience.
Cydia store applications simply don't meet the SDK (Software Development
Kit) requirements by Apple and therefore, they are not allowed to be published in the App Store.
This is an attempt by Apple to protect the iPhone from
unauthorized or buggy applications that could damage its reputation. Those policies and restrictions are becoming more and more lean as the iOS is becoming more advanced.
Of course, the best world of the iPhone is to enhance some App Store applications with some features and tweaks from the Cydia store.