Scenario: I am an iPad Wifi (no 3G) owner. I bring my iPad to work every day. My work place do not have open Wifi, so I am unable to connect iPad to the Internet. I use the office computer and find free iPad apps, but these iPad apps are free only for a very limited time. By the time I return home, the apps are no longer free. I do not want to plug my iPad to my office computer iTunes because I do not want my office computer to sync all the apps in my iPad.
My solution: I install iTunes on my office computer. I login using my Apple ID. I download the apps from my office computer via iTunes. I copy the .IPA app files to my USB drive. I bring the files home. I open the iTunes from my home computer. I drag and drop the .IPA app files from my USB drive to iTunes. I sync my iPad in iTunes. The apps will appear in my iPad.
Yes it might be a longwinded way of getting apps into your iPad, but it is an effective way of getting the free apps that are often offered in very limited time frame. You will save time by downloading huge apps from office. And if you are like me who tethers my iPad to my mobile device (Nokia E72 via Joikuspot Premium), it might be a good idea to save the monthly bundled data. 1GB might seem a lot, but if each app size is 100MB, 10 downloads would deplete your monthly quota. And did I mention the battery drain when using your mobile device as a Wifi hotspot?
To find the folder that stores the .IPA app files, go to the iTunes Apps library that displays all your installed apps, then right click any app and select “Show in Windows Explorer”.
Oh, and you can only install the .IPA app file on devices with the same Apple ID. So you can’t share the .IPA file with your friends. iTunes will not allow the app to be installed in devices with a different Apple ID.