Most of the time the iOS application ecosystem works exactly the way you want it to. I back up my iPhone daily and my iPad weekly by plugging them into my laptop and frequently update all Apps that I have already “purchased” (mostly they are free) and everything is pretty current and generally works great.
There are a few vendors who insist on releasing new versions with new features almost weekly and the new version actually break features that I had come to rely on… so I have found that it is helpful NOT to empty the trash quite so often and yank the IPA file back out of the trash for an older version of an app and re-install it to the iOS device, effectively downgrading it to a working version. The two apps I am doing this with right now are Skype and the Junos Pulse VPN client.
Skype is annoying, because I have been preserving and re-installing older versions of their software for two years now on both computers and mobiles. They keep releasing new junk and failing to get the interface right. Skype 3.7.40 is my favorite as the 4 series on iOS is buggy, and on the computer I still use Skype 18.104.22.1686.
Junos Pulse is critical for my work and the newer version is simply broken with our VPN, so 22.214.171.12411 is the version I am using.
With both, when iTunes updates you to the new version of an application, the old version goes into your trashcan. If you are careful, you can capture the old version, and drag it into a folder called “Preserved iOS Apps” or something like that. Then if you find a version you hate, you can drag the most recent version of the same app that you liked from your Preserved folder back to iTunes. You will need to manually halt the process on iOS and then delete it, and then sync the new copy of the older version back again.
To manually halt a process on iOS, quickly double tap the home button to bring up a list of all running apps, then find your running Skype and Junos Pulse apps, press and hold them until the red minus sign appears and then tap that red minus sign. The app is no longer running.
To manually delete an app in iOS, press and hold the icon for the app until the “jigglies” and the black X markers appear, tap the black X to delete the app and all of it’s data.
Then you can safely re-sync the app from iTunes on your computer, which roles you back to the most recent version you dragged into iTunes library from your Preserved folder or your Trashcan.
What other iOS apps were better in previous versions?