Sync vs. Transfer vs. Backup & Restore

trlyka

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2011
539
7
Ok, so I am a little nervous about allowing my iPhone to sync to my Mac for the first time. I also have to do my iPad.

My understanding, and it seems redundant, but......

Sync=Mirror image of what's on the Mac and iPhone/iPad (If you add or delete something from either the Mac or the device, it mirrors the change on the unchanged device)
Backup & Restore=Storing of content from your iPhone/iPad and only updated when you select to 'Backup' and used to restore content on a new device or a device that was reset to factory
Transfer=Transfer content from your iPhone/iPad to the Mac to allow you to put it into iTunes to sync to your device (New computer)

I have my iCloud with my contacts. I have my pictures imported on my Mac and I used the Touchcopy program to move my music/movies. My apps are all showing in iTunes, but I have not synced them yet. What is the best way to do this? When I select Sync on the Apps, it tells me all the Apps will be replaced with what is in the iTunes library. I assume all the apps will sync with my phone, but not in the same order that I have them?

Thanks
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
Ok, so I am a little nervous about allowing my iPhone to sync to my Mac for the first time. I also have to do my iPad.

My understanding, and it seems redundant, but......

Sync=Mirror image of what's on the Mac and iPhone/iPad (If you add or delete something from either the Mac or the device, it mirrors the change on the unchanged device)
Backup & Restore=Storing of content from your iPhone/iPad and only updated when you select to 'Backup' and used to restore content on a new device or a device that was reset to factory
Transfer=Transfer content from your iPhone/iPad to the Mac to allow you to put it into iTunes to sync to your device (New computer)

I have my iCloud with my contacts. I have my pictures imported on my Mac and I used the Touchcopy program to move my music/movies. My apps are all showing in iTunes, but I have not synced them yet. What is the best way to do this? When I select Sync on the Apps, it tells me all the Apps will be replaced with what is in the iTunes library. I assume all the apps will sync with my phone, but not in the same order that I have them?

Thanks
I'm not sure I follow you here, you mean to say your iPhone and iPad have never been synced to a computer before? Or just to your Mac? Did you manage the contents by hand?

Syncing is short for synchronizing. Meaning all contents in the itunes library will be copied over onto the phone, this includes apps, ringtones, music, videos, plus your contacts calendars and bookmarks(if you don't use iCloud, that is).

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.
 

trlyka

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2011
539
7
I'm not sure I follow you here, you mean to say your iPhone and iPad have never been synced to a computer before? Or just to your Mac? Did you manage the contents by hand?

Syncing is short for synchronizing. Meaning all contents in the itunes library will be copied over onto the phone, this includes apps, ringtones, music, videos, plus your contacts calendars and bookmarks(if you don't use iCloud, that is).

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. And here are some more questions....:confused:

Previously, I had synced with iTunes on my old Dell which quit on me for the 3rd time in late 2011, so I got my Mac for Christmas and I haven't synced my iPhone or iPad to it yet. I have my stuff from the Dell, but it's on an external HD and we haven't restored the Dell yet.

The Mac will now be the computer I will sync with going forward. So I transferred the Apps from my iPhone to iTunes, copied my music onto the Mac and my contact info is in iCloud. If I sync and allow iTunes to replace my Apps, will it simply replace all my apps that are already on my iPhone with the same apps I transferred? I'd prefer to not have iTunes do anything except see how I have my iPhone set up and leave it that way and copy it. But I have a feeling that's not an option based on what I'm reading.

iCloud question. It says this....

'iCloud automatically and securely stores your content so it's always available to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. It gives you access to your music, apps, latest photos, and more from whichever device you happen to be using. And it keeps your email, contacts, and calendars up to date across all your devices. No syncing required. No management required. In fact, no anything required. iCloud does it all for you.'

Maybe I am confused on how iCloud works, but I only see 5 icons in iCloud online. MAIL, CONTACTS, CALENDAR, FIND MY IPHONE AND IWORK. How/Where is the rest of the stuff being backed up/kept? Apps, music, etc..

Ok, back to the sync thing....

Does iTunes automatically use iCloud for my contacts? That's the only place they are backed up. Once all is synced, is it better to backup to iCloud or the computer? Or is there a way to do both? Also, is there a way to backup my bookmarks, associated email accounts, text messages and settings?

Sorry for all the questions. I just don't want to mess it up and lose any info/apps/etc if I can help it. Maybe I am worrying too much :(

Thanks
 

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
Sorry if I wasn't clear. And here are some more questions....:confused:

Previously, I had synced with iTunes on my old Dell which quit on me for the 3rd time in late 2011, so I got my Mac for Christmas and I haven't synced my iPhone or iPad to it yet. I have my stuff from the Dell, but it's on an external HD and we haven't restored the Dell yet.
So you have all your mp3's and movies onto an external already? That's good.
The Mac will now be the computer I will sync with going forward. So I transferred the Apps from my iPhone to iTunes, copied my music onto the Mac and my contact info is in iCloud. If I sync and allow iTunes to replace my Apps, will it simply replace all my apps that are already on my iPhone with the same apps I transferred? I'd prefer to not have iTunes do anything except see how I have my iPhone set up and leave it that way and copy it. But I have a feeling that's not an option based on what I'm reading.
Is iTunes authorized to use your current Apple ID? This would allow you to redownload your apps and the music you bought onto your Mac to have them available to sync without having to do the whole transferring from the iPhone to the computer.

iCloud question. It says this....

'iCloud automatically and securely stores your content so it's always available to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. It gives you access to your music, apps, latest photos, and more from whichever device you happen to be using. And it keeps your email, contacts, and calendars up to date across all your devices. No syncing required. No management required. In fact, no anything required. iCloud does it all for you.'

Maybe I am confused on how iCloud works, but I only see 5 icons in iCloud online. MAIL, CONTACTS, CALENDAR, FIND MY IPHONE AND IWORK. How/Where is the rest of the stuff being backed up/kept? Apps, music, etc..
What you listed is what iCloud keeps on servers to make available to your iDevices and computers. iCloud doesn't keep music. Music and backups are kept on the computer you used to sync to.

Ok, back to the sync thing....

Does iTunes automatically use iCloud for my contacts? That's the only place they are backed up. Once all is synced, is it better to backup to iCloud or the computer? Or is there a way to do both? Also, is there a way to backup my bookmarks, associated email accounts, text messages and settings?

Sorry for all the questions. I just don't want to mess it up and lose any info/apps/etc if I can help it. Maybe I am worrying too much :(

Thanks
iCloud is setup in the system preferences of the whole computer, so yes, it will remain with iCloud, you'll lose no data there.



What may happen is that you may need to reorganize your apps and your music into playlists, but that's the extent of your "problems" if you do sync to your Mac. You may lose some saved games on your iPhone/iPad as well as highscores.

There is probably a way to transfer over the last backup of your iDevices from your PC to your Mac which may allow you to keep everything as is.
 

trlyka

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 26, 2011
539
7
So you have all your mp3's and movies onto an external already? That's good..
Yes. I have it on my old HD and I tranferred it from my iPhone to my Mac into iTunes.

Is iTunes authorized to use your current Apple ID? This would allow you to redownload your apps and the music you bought onto your Mac to have them available to sync without having to do the whole transferring from the iPhone to the computer..
Yes. Everythng is authorized. The apps were transferred from my iPhone into iTunes. I already had the music, but it wasn't purchased through iTunes. I had the music transferred from my iPhone into iTunes.

What you listed is what iCloud keeps on servers to make available to your iDevices and computers. iCloud doesn't keep music. Music and backups are kept on the computer you used to sync to.
Ok. I was confused as to what iCloud actually kept for me. Only because the icons only had those 5 options.

iCloud is setup in the system preferences of the whole computer, so yes, it will remain with iCloud, you'll lose no data there.
I'll have to look into that throuh system preferences. i didn't know there was control through there.

What may happen is that you may need to reorganize your apps and your music into playlists, but that's the extent of your "problems" if you do sync to your Mac. You may lose some saved games on your iPhone/iPad as well as highscores.
That seems harmless enough.

There is probably a way to transfer over the last backup of your iDevices from your PC to your Mac which may allow you to keep everything as is.
That's really what I am really looking for. Or at least some way to just backup my iPhone/iPad exactly as it is now. But Apple makes it difficult to do something so simple.

Thanks for your help :)
 
Last edited:

snaky69

macrumors 603
Mar 14, 2008
5,904
484
I'd have to do some googling(mind you, you could probably do this yourself) to find a way, but I figure there is probably a way to transfer the whole backup "as is" from a computer to another. Don't quote me on that but it is likely it's possible.


Out of curiosity I just did a small search
A simple google search brought this quote up, from MacRumors itself:


The iPhone backup files are created by iTunes as it is the application we use to create iPhone, iPad and iPod backups on our computer (Mac or Windows).

On Mac computer, you can find the backup here:

/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup

On Windows Computer, you can find it here:

C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR_USER_NAME\Application Data\Apple Computer\SyncServices\Local

The file "data.syncdb" appears to be the one.

Unless you did not changed the location of backup for your iPhone in the iTunes, the backup can be found here. It is possible that the backup is not available there, i.e. some how it is deleted or iTunes fails to create the backup. in those situation you should select the professional iphone backup application. You can read more about professional iPhone backup application over here, http://www.iphonebackup.org.uk. Also i suggest you to keep taking incremental backup time to time so that the backup process takes only few minutes every time you backup.
 

rookie1234

macrumors newbie
Dec 7, 2013
1
0
itunes sucks IMO + question

Itunes focuses on selling you music over protecting your idevices and information.

I've been a user for many years and still struggle navigating the thing. It failed to recognize my iphone for years on an earlier windows OS. It allowed a hacker to send out my iphone notes to "undisclosed recipients" using a compromised gmail account. It allowed the thief who stole my phone in Berlin to wipe it and presumably sell it over there despite my "find my iphone" being on.

Many of you can argue that this is not Apple's fault, but they could do a far better job focusing on existing users needs--particularly given the margin they make from us.

Sorry for the rant, here is my question: can someone please compare and contrast (in a detailed, but simple manner) the following:

  1. transfer purchases
  2. sync
  3. backup

    Can you also please advise whether I should be backing up to the cloud as well as my PC and whether there are differences between them? I'm not a fan of sharing personal information with the cloud as I believe it is a matter of when--not if--it falls into the wrong hands. Having said that, my iphone was stolen in Europe a few years back and I lost 1500 photos so have been using icloud since, despite the risks. The bottom line is I need to understand the above actions and the differences between backing up to a cloud and to a pc.

    Thanks very much for your complete and simple response!
 

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