Erroneous app update badge begone!

For several months now there has been a little badge in iTunes telling me that there is an update available for one of my iPhone applications. Doing a “Check for Updates” never found anything and yet the badge remained… taunting me with its inaccuracy and its implications of disorganisation.

A swift search showed that this is not an uncommon problem, but also that there is no single sure-fire solution.

With hindsight the “delete everything in your mobile apps directory and sync, making sure to let iTunes copy all the apps back off your iPhone” suggestion would probably have worked, but that felt a little too drastic and provided too great an opportunity for things to go horribly wrong. And I wouldn’t have learned anything by doing it.

So, taking the opportunity to have a bit of a tidy up of apps, here is what I did instead.

  • A quick check of apps on the iPhone, delete any that didn’t make the grade.
  • Sync
  • Compare apps on iPhone to apps showing in iTunes, delete any extras in iTunes. (There were several, I have no idea why, there shouldn’t be.)
  • Sync
  • Compare apps in iTunes to apps listed in /Users/sarah/Music/iTunes/Mobile Applications, delete any old apps in the folder.
  • Sync

At this point a miracle occurred and the badge disappeared.

Things I have learned:

  • If you delete apps on the iPhone rather than within iTunes the files will never be deleted on the Mac — I knew this but hadn’t considered the implications.
  • iTunes apparently still checks for updates for apps in the Mobile Applications folder even if they aren’t listed in iTunes.

That should be that, but the OCD-afflicted part of my brain is still not happy. It is now annoyed by the untidiness caused by the presence of old versions of current apps in the Mobile Applications folder.

I guess the next step to appease it is to make a backup of the folder, check which apps have multiple versions, Get Info on the app in iTunes to double-check which is the current version (it’s not always obvious from the file names), and delete the old ones.

Then, hopefully, all should be nice and tidy and, as long as I remember to delete apps from iTunes rather than the iPhone, I can forget about it. At least until the next updates arrive and my brain is reminded of the multiple versions that may be accumulating…

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