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HOW-TO: International iPhone/iPadtt/iTunes apps Tips

Mehr

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Do you travel to other countries or live part of the year abroad? Businesses there require you to use their apps and they are not available in your home country's iTunes Store?

Apple did a horrible job of supporting your needs but don't panic, you can still get it done with these tips.

  • Bring your laptop, the necessary steps are easier on iTunes (and maybe only possible on iTunes?)
  • Do not change a thing on your home country account. Just log off in iTunes.
  • You will need a home address in your additional countries.
  • If you plan to buy for-pay content with your additional country account you will need either a local credit card whose address matches your local home address or an iTunes gift card, but keep in mind:
  1. Not all countries sell iTunes gift cards. You might need to get them in your home country. I *think* that you can use iTune cards with accounts for any country, but test it with one of the smallest denomination possible first, to make sure.
  2. In many countries it is very unsafe to use a credit card for Internet purchases. If you do, you do it at your own risk.
  3. Many countries do not enable Internet use of credit cards and you have to go to your bank to authorize it, again at your own risk.
  • If you do not want to associate a credit card with your additional country account do the following:
  1. DO NOT create an Apple ID or iTunes account the normal way. The normal way will not work work without a local credit card that is enabled for Internet purchases.
  2. DO NOT continue with any transaction that has the credit card as required fields.
  3. With iTunes LOGGED OFF go to apps. Scroll to the bottom. Find the country flag and click it. Select your additional account country. The page will refresh and you will see the apps for the new country. Verify the flag at bottom right.
  4. Search and start downloading a FREE app.
  5. You will be prompted for an Apple ID. This is where you choose to create a new one.
  6. Since you are creating an Apple ID *while* downloading a free app, you will have an option for "none" as the credit card. Pick none, enter your additional country address and continue.
  7. After the download is complete and in iTunes you can log off. The app will be available in iTunes from now on, for all of your accounts.
  8. Log back in to your home country account (to minimize problems with settings on your phone, like iCloud).
  9. Plug in your phone to the computer, find the app, tell iTunes to install the app on the phone and sync.
 

J. A.

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Welcome to iPhoneForums, Mehr!

If you intend to give information on how to change to a different App Store, you should be informed how it works exactly.

It's also possible on an iDevice, and it's as easy as in iTunes on a computer.
You can't use your own country's iTunes gift card for an account in a different country. You can use it for your own country's store. If you need balance for a different country's store, you need an iTunes card from that country.

And, as it's easy to set up an Apple ID for a different country, Apple certainly didn't "a horrible job of supporting your needs".
 
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LOL J.A., I wouldn't call doing it on iTunes "easy".

The information is buried so deep in the Apple site that it took me about 8 hours of research, including 2 trips to iPlace (the local Apple franchise) to find the information. Worse, even the local Apple support representatives didn't have a clue as to how to do it.

But it is good to know that there is some way to do it on an iDevice (although only God knows how, since my iPhone kept refusing to go forward to the free download without a local credit card and it refused mine since it was not enabled for online transactions because of a local credit card fraud epidemic).

It was because of how painful it was to get this to work that I felt it necessary to write a HOW-TO, so that others don't have to go through the hell that I had to endure. It is still a clunky and annoying way of doing things, but it beats having to give up on iPhone and move to Android... which for a while there seemed like my only option.
 

KevinJS

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Thanks for the How-To. Most of us join forums such as this one as soon as we hit our first problem and some of us stick around to learn more and help pass on the knowledge.

To my mind the most valuable help comes in the form of "this worked for me" and is a great starting point for someone who wants to go to work without understanding the underlying problem, or wants a quick fix while they work out at leisure what is going on.
 

J. A.

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@Mehr
It's not as difficult as it seemed to you. I have four Apple IDs for four different countries, and it was easy to set them up on my iPad. I use "None" as my payment method for the IDs from countries other than my own, which means that I need iTunes cards from these countries to purchase apps, music, ...

I don't use them somewhere else but here in Austria, btw.

It's also possible to change an existing Apple ID's country to a different one, as long as you don't subscribe to iTunes Match, or use an iTunes card for your purchases, and still have some balance.

What I should add, is:
When you need to update one of the apps from another country than the one you're logged in at the moment when is has to update, you'll have to enter the password for that country's ID in order to get it updated.

And if you intend to set up a new Apple ID, you need an email address that hasn't been used for an Apple ID before, neither as ID itself, nor as rescue address. The best option is to use a Gmail or Outlook account.
 
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