ED: Woops! Sorry – this was accidentally backdated during an update!
Apple has added the new purchased section to App Store and iTunes storefront apps on iOS devices with the introduction of iOS 5 back at WWDC in June. As a result, people can re-download their purchased songs, apps and books on any iOS devices. However, for large libraries this can become a cumbersome process as the iPhone’s and iPad’s interface doesn’t lend itself too well to multiple re-downloads. In addition, each time you re-download something, you’re yanked out of the storefront app.
With iTunes 10.4, Apple has added the new Purchased section to the iTunes Store. Clicking it opens a new embedded web page inside iTunes that lets you browse your purchased music, apps and books by All items and those Not In My Library. As you can see from the below screenshots, it lists a few iPad apps I had previously downloaded and then removed from my iTunes library. Those items now have the cloud icon next to them, just like in iOS storefront apps, allowing me to re-download them one by one or hit the Download All button at the bottom to bring all of my purchases back into a local iTunes library on my computer.
Coupled with the Purchased option in App Store and iTunes storfronts on iOS devices and the ability to access your purchased Mac apps via the Purchased tab in Mac App Store (though it lacks the Download All button), this completes Apple’s initiative. No doubt many people who do not back up their computers on a regular basis will find this useful as their purchases are always there, ready to be downloaded from the cloud. Thanks, Jordan!