Have you ever wondered what’s inside your iPhone? Apple doesn’t make it easy to dig around the various files and folders to see what’s what. That’s Apple being all paranoid about security and privacy. But there is an easy way to see, move, and copy files on your iPhone from your Mac.
All you need is an iPhone, your Mac, a Lightning-to-USB cable, and the PhoneView app to view what’s inside your iPhone. What you’ll find when you snoop around inside the iPhone is both expected and surprising. But there are limits to what you can view.
Does What It Says
PhoneView does mostly what it says so the app’s name is descriptive. It lets you view what’s on your iPhone by using your Mac to connect directly to the phone. What do you get for your trouble? Access to most of the iPhone’s files and folders (but not critical system files).
That means you can view Contacts, Notes, phone Call Log, text Messages, Voicemail messages, applications and their stored files. PhoneView also gives you direct file access to Music files, Videos, iBooks, Photos, and much more (including voice memos and ringtones.
The simple controls in the top Toolbar give Mac users the option to copy files from the iPhone to the Mac, and view iTunes backups. Speaking of backups, PhoneView makes manual backup and file restore just like saving or copying or moving files on your Mac.
What’s the advantage of using PhoneView to view files on the iPhone?
It’s good for individual backups of different files, but I’ve used it to restore data files from a backup when the original app had to be re-installed (which wipes out data).
Even better, PhoneView plays nice with the Mac’s Finder and it couldn’t be simpler to use.
Check out the image above which displays applications and their files. Many apps have a Documents file which can easily be backed up using PhoneView. Select the folder, click Copy from iPhone in the Toolbar.
PhoneView is a great tool to backup specific apps and files from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac with just a few clicks.
Despite the obvious in the name, PhoneView is a viewing app with a few copy, move, and delete functions built in. What it doesn’t do is what I would pay extra to have– backup the iPhone (or, iPad). I say that because tens of thousands of iPhone and iPad users– just check Apple’s user support pages for verification– have problems with iTunes backups; either the backup itself, or the restore; but more of the latter than the former.
I would appreciate another way to backup my iPhone and iPads than the somewhat problematic iTunes. Otherwise, PhoneView lets you view most of the files you need to view.