Welcome to Ask TUAW, our weekly (mostly) question-and-answer column. This week we're addressing your numerous questions about Apple's introductions at WWDC. We'll try to tackle questions about Lion, MobileMe and more.
By the way, we can never have too many questions. You can't have a Q&A column without the Q, so please go to the comments of this post and ask away. Believe it or not, we've had a little bit of a drought of questions, so now's your chance to get them answered! If you prefer, instead of asking questions in the comments, you can also email your questions directly to ask [at] tuaw.com, or simply ping us on Twitter.
Now, questions! John asks:
How do you remove iCloud music downloads from my iPhone and iPad? There seems to be no way to do it on the device or in iTunes when connected via USB to my computer.
John, fantastic question! And one that I had as soon as I opened up "prior purchases" in the App Store on my iPad. The first thing I saw was "Angry Birds Free." Like every other iPad owner in the world (or so it seems), I eventually ended up purchasing the full version of Angry Birds. I've done the same thing with several other applications, downloaded the free version, liked it and bought the full version and deleted the free version. Except now they are back!
The same is true for time-sensitive apps like last year's version of MLB At Bat. I've even found some parents who were upset that their children could now access "explicit" content that the parents had purchased on the same iTunes account.
And... you can't delete them. I've emailed Apple and pored through Apple's Support Communities and, though I've found lots of other people with the same question, there doesn't seem to be a mechanism to delete (or hide) content from Previously Purchased. Awkward.
Now, the more people that ask about this, the more likely Apple is to add a deleting or hiding mechanism. My suggestion to you (and everyone else who would like to delete apps from iCloud) is to send feedback to Apple via this form or by sending an email to email@example.com.
In the past, people buying Macs around the time of an OS upgrade got to purchase that upgrade for a discount. I think it was called Up-To-Date. Is that going to happen for Lion? I'm thinking about buying a Mac this month and wasn't sure if I should wait until July for Lion to be released.
Yes, Apple is running the Lion Up-To-Date program. When Apple introduces new software that comes with a Mac, generally iLife or OS X, it tends to offer an "Up-To-Date" program that enables recent purchasers to get the latest software for a small fee, typically $9.95 for an installation DVD.
With the advent of the Mac App Store, getting a free upgrade to Lion should be as simple as typing in a redemption code. In the Lion press release, Apple explained how it works, sort of:
The Mac OS X Lion Up-To-Date upgrade is available at no additional charge via the Mac App Store to all customers who purchased a qualifying new Mac system from Apple or an Apple Authorized Reseller on or after June 6, 2011. Users must request their Up-To-Date upgrade within 30 days of purchase of their Mac computer. Customers who purchase a qualifying Mac between June 6, 2011 and the date when Lion is available in the Mac App Store will have 30 days from Lion's official release date to make a request.
There you have it. If you purchase a Mac between this past Monday and the release of Lion, you'll get a free copy of Lion -- you'll simply have to submit a request within 30 days after you buy your new Mac. Or within 30 days of Lion's release to the Mac App Store. You know, come to think of it, that's not really so clear -- the press release gives two different deadlines. To be safe, get your request in before the 30-day clock counts down past your purchase.
Note that Up-To-Date applies only to qualifying new Mac system purchases by default. If you are buying a refurbished machine, be sure to verify with the Apple Store that you can still get your OS update.
Many people wrote in to ask:
What happens to our iDisk and MobileMe websites with the introduction of iCloud?
For now, nothing. All MobileMe accounts have been extended to June 30, 2012, so nothing will change for a year. You'll still have your websites and iDisk information; Apple isn't going to suddenly delete it on you.
As far as the long term implications of iCloud on MobileMe, we have heard a few reports from users talking to AppleCare Support that there will be a form of iDisk in iCloud this fall. However, until Apple says so, nothing is official (although we sure can speculate). In the meantime, it's business as usual. Keep using your iDisk and MobileMe websites as if nothing happened Monday. Everything will keep working, at least for another year.
I will say this though: lots and lots of Apple employees use iDisk and the MobileMe websites every day. All Apple employees receive a free MobileMe account, and they would be the first ones to give feedback if the services suddenly disappeared.
Finally, a number of you asked us this question:
Is it possible to merge purchases made from two different AppleIDs? Is it possible to split purchases made on one AppleID into two accounts?
At this point, the answer is no. iTunes Accounts/AppleID's are designed to be used by one person (just like iPhones and iPads, for better or for worse), and there is no current mechanism to merge or split accounts. Users can change their AppleID by going to appleid.apple.com, but other than that, there's not much that can be done.
Like the above question, the best thing to do is to send feedback to Apple via this form or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry I couldn't be more help but sometimes even we don't have the answers!
Thanks for the questions everyone, and remember: it's tough to have a Q&A column without Qs. So, put your questions in the comments of this post, or shoot us an email at ask [at] tuaw.com. Also, if you have anything to add to our answers, we love feedback and fresh ideas.
Seriously, we want questions! Now, have a great week!