Problem with syncing iDevices

I have an iPhone that syncs with iTunes on my desktop computer. I also have an iPad that has been set up the way I want it, and it shares the same apple ID. I have not been using icloud to share content between these two devices.

I connected the iPad to the desktop. iTunes opened, and immediately saw the iPad. It asked me if I want to set it up as a new iPad (I don't) or restore from a backup (there is no backup on the iPad on the desktop).

All I want to do is sync the iPad with the computer so that I can transfer some of the apps I just purchased and downloaded onto the desktop to my iPad. Why is this so difficult?

It seems that every time I try to sync these devices with a computer and add content it is an adventure!
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Lounge FoxCommented:
Is this the first time you have attempted to sync your iPad?

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M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
Is this the same iPad that had been associated with your computer at work, which you posted on Experts Exchange about previously?
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M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
No. Actually these two devices belong to my daughter. You gave an excellent memory!
If it's never been connected to a computer before, you'll have to connect it, tell the computer it's a new iPad, and go from there.

I think the part you may be conceptually missing is that when you sync the iPad to a computer, you're duplicating the library (or at least the portion you've selected) on that computer onto the iPad.  If you then connect it to some other computer, you'll duplicate the library on THAT computer onto the iPad, rather than adding material to the iPad.  That is, the iPad is not like a bee that goes from flower to flower adding to its pollen collection.  It is more like a chameleon, that adopts the appearance of whatever it was most recently connected to.

If it was previously connected to some other computer, you should connect it to THAT computer, and transfer music and apps from that computer.  

Trouble arises when you connect the iPad to multiple computers serially.  it should have one computer that it is always connected to (though the computer can be partnered with numerous iDevices.)
M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
I understand that. My daughter is 12 and has only one computer. The iPad has not been connected or synced with any other computer. If it is set up like a new ipad, then it will wipe her iPad clean. Or am I wrong about this. This is what I am concerned about.
You can solve this issue by going to your ipad>Settings>icloud and enter your username and password and then backup to icloud.

Then after, you connect your ipad to itunes and select backup on icloud from the main window, this will automatically sync your computer installed apps with icloud.
Lounge FoxCommented:
Using the cloud to back up the iPad not only saves what is already on the iPad but if you leave iCloud set up on both devices it will preserve her data and apps.  Since she is young this is a good way to ensure she won't lose something later by accident.
Once you have set up iCloud on both devices......go to settings-iCloud and turn off the toggles to things she doesn't need backed up I.e. Notes, Safari........then scroll down and click Storage and Backup and turn on automatic back up to ensure her devices are regularly backed up to the cloud.
Aditya AroraNetwork & Hardware Commented:
Yes, if you sync it like new ipad it will wipe her all data.

I agree with Cheryl Seward solution. you must go with icloud back up. then sync with your desktop and then restore backup.
M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
So if I understand correctly:
Back up both iPhone and iPad to iCloud
Sync iPhone to desktop
Set up iPad as a new device on desktop
Sync iPad to desktop
Is this correct- both devices will have same content now?
You didn't mention wanting them to have the same content as one another.  is that your goal?   They can have the same content as one another, or you can set them up to have entirely different content.   But each of them will have a subset of what's on the computer they're syncing with.

iTunes allows you to specify, for each device, which of the content on the PC will be copied onto that device.

If you set iTunes to copy "all music" and "all apps", etc., to both devices, then they'll have the same content as one another, and it will mirror what's on the PC.

But you could also, for example, create an iPhone playlist and and an iPad playlist, and set the iPhone up so that ONLY the iPhone playlist gets copied to it, and set the iPad up so that ONLY the iPad playlist gets copied to it... so they'd have completely different music from one another.

Similarly, when you go into each devices Apps page in iTunes, you can select which apps will be copied to that device, so the two devices could have different sets of apps from one another.
Lounge FoxCommented:

Yes follow your list and you will be all set.  Also on both devices go to Settings-iCloud-croll down to Storage and Backup-  click it and turn on automatic back up and iCloud will back daily.  You do not have to sync to itunes daily, just once a month or so or when you have added some new apps or upated athe ios.

For added options, such as haveing differt content on the 2 devices follow akahan's suggestions.
M_EpsteinAuthor Commented:
Waiting for my daughter to bring home her ipad so I can try the solutions out.
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