Since Apps are no Longer Part of iTunes, Do iTunes Backups Still Make Sense?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Traverse, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Traverse macrumors 604

    Traverse

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    #1
    For the last 1.5 years or so I've backed up encrypted to iTunes instead of iCloud due to the efficiency and speed of restoring all the local files from my computer vs downloading GBs of data again. However, now that iTunes no longer supports iOS apps, a big reason to use iTunes Backups is gone.

    Do you think iTunes backups still make sense?

    Question about iCloud Restore: I've never restored from iCloud. If I synced TV Shows and Music (not iCloud Music Library) does it attempt to redownload those? I'd much rather I re-sync those myself.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Traverse thread starter macrumors 604

    Traverse

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    #3
  3. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #4
    If Apple continues on this path, the "long-term solution" is to exit from Apple's iOS ecosystem.

    I currently have 9 iOS devices in the household. The moment that I can't use a version of iTunes on macOS to distribute app updates to those devices is the moment I begin my departure (certainly from iOS devices, maybe from Apple altogether)

    This incrementalism of little things that seem to go against how we do things eventually accumulates to something that becomes big. People may look at the removal of app management in iTunes as "no big deal" and certainly not worth leaving the platform over. If that was the only thing we had to work around then that would be a reasonable response. But when I look back at all of the things that I had to "let go" in order to stay with the platform, this app management thing becomes the "final straw".

    Apple's release of iTunes 12.6.3 bought me a little more time with iOS.
     
  4. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #5
    Backups are more for stuff you can't get back from the cloud, like personal data and photos (if not using iCloud).

    Sure the app downloads will take more time, but you weren't backing up apps anyway.
     
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

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    #6
    There is a difference between there being no iOS App Store for making new purchases and being able to sync your apps, which is still possible. So yes, there's still a point to making iTunes backups.
     
  6. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Genuine question: Why?

    I currently have 11 OS devices and would never imagine plugging them in for updates. That would be incredibly cumbersome and time consuming. If there is an app update on my iPad, I tap the Update All icon within the App Store and let the device run with it. I get new iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs and Watches with every iteration ( part of my job ). I wipe the old one and set the new one up as a new device. Log in with my iCloud account information and everything comes back. Easy peasy.
     
  7. BarkingGhost macrumors regular

    BarkingGhost

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    #8
    Except some business customers, like my employer, have tens of thousands of iOS devices not just using localized (iTunes) encrypted backups, but also have a corporate policy to not using iCloud at all (strictly prohibited).
     
  8. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #9
    Why? It's not complicated. I don't allow iOS devices to automatically update to the newest versions of apps that we depend on. It is important for me to know what the update does and if it will affect the purposes for which we use those apps. The same goes for iOS updates. Also, it isn't necessary to "plug them in" to get updates... wireless works well.

    We used to do as you do (automatically update), until iOS 7 was released. Recovering from that for us was a nightmare and took 3-5 months to get things kinda-sorta working acceptably again.

    Then there is the redundancy of downloading 11 copies of the same app (if it appears on all 11 of your iOS devices)

    I know that this goes against the "Apple Way" and it is why it is becoming increasingly more difficult stay with the platform.
     
  9. Hater macrumors 6502

    Hater

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    #10
    Yep.

    My backups are more that 5GB in size and I'm not going to pay for iCloud, I already paid for the storage on my laptop and I'm going to use it.
     
  10. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Makes perfect sense.

    Apple helps with this. System Preferences > Sharing > Content Caching
    --- Post Merged, Oct 13, 2017 ---
    We were talking about this... 5GB should be per Apple machine owned. Do you have an iPhone, iPad and an iMac? Then maybe 15GB would be more appropriate. Pay $0.99US/month for double that amount if needed. Or something along those lines.

    I believe 5GB per device registered to your account would be fair.
     
  11. mikzn, Oct 14, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017

    mikzn macrumors 6502

    mikzn

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    #12
    Good Question / Thread !

    As far as I can tell the iTunes "Back Up" of iOS devices is still the same - encrypted "back ups" still contain the entire contents of the device (someone can correct me if I am wrong) - so the iTunes back up still makes sense (for me) as an alternative to iCloud back ups.

    Putting all the back up "Eggs" in the iCloud "Basket" seems risky and also removes control of managing my own Data, for example iCloud "Back Up's" seem to use incremental (or OS specific) updates for apps and may put a placeholder for the iOS app (restoration) on the device. In this case the version of the app restored may not be the same version as at the time the back up was made - or even no longer available (ie removed from the app store).

    I want the complete "Back Up" to be there when I need it, iCloud sync seems to have a ton of bugs and I just like to have at least one "Back Up" in my possession, on my own personal drive.
     
  12. Rigby macrumors 601

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    #13
    As long as iCloud backups are not completely end-to-end encrypted I'll continue using iTunes.
     
  13. BarkingGhost macrumors regular

    BarkingGhost

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    #14
    Not so. Look at the Apple specific page here. Unless you have My Photo Stream, and iCloud Photo Library enabled (I do not) then your pictures, texts, and pictures in texts, are not covered (ahem, backed up).

    And even if I did have My Photo Stream, and iCloud Photo Library enabled if I had >>5GB of pictures on each device, and unique images to each iOS device in shared form, then I will have to pay Apple to back them up. So, they removed a free feature to make money off of you--IMO.

    I am now actively copying images taken from within iMessage to the Camera Roll and using the Windows Image Import to save the images in order to skirt this anti-user (IMO) move by Apple. I do not consider content from the iTunes and App Stores to cover iMessage/Messages content and as such need a different route to back that up.

    In making this change to iTunes and offering little in the way of iCloud coverage (it doesn't back up on-device-only Camera Roll either they are essentially telling folks to go away and buy something from someone else. Only problem with this move, and message, is that most other solutions require accessing a iOS backup that contains the information to begin with. And if iOS backups don't contain that information them you are SOL.

    And it was this SOL condition that I sought an alternative to the iOS backup. I was using iMazing, but now I wonder if this Apple move has delimited that app's ability. I guess I will test this out this weekend so I can try to save as much as I can from my recent holiday trip.
     
  14. mikzn, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017

    mikzn macrumors 6502

    mikzn

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    #15
    Good point - I have seen that link and read it - but I find it very vague and confusing.

    For example from that page - "Syncing your device with your computer isn't the same as making a backup." Ok why call it a back up?

    It seems to me they are trying to say they don't actually make a back up - why not call it a data sync that includes . . ." most of the info except the following "insert the rest of the support doc that is excluded"

    To me a back up is a back up.

    I get that they don't back up music and videos because of DRM

    Photos - I download my phone and ipad to photos or iPhoto (Photos for work and business cause it is easy to use) iPhoto for my personal use such as hiking and outdoors activities. I don't really need an apple back up - i have on my own drive that is backed up. A real back up.

    Could not agree more, I know it is ony 1$ or 2$ etc per month (multiplied by 100 million users) - but it is not reliable - I have lost a lot of data in the past and don't trust apple with - one of a kind pictures - or messed up duplicates - or wholesale missing info.


    Have not tried iMazing - will check it out - thanks - hope it will work after the iOS 11 and High Sierra transitions.
     

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