What’s going on? Apple has made critical backups rather simple for iPhone and iPad users with iCloud. Whatever happened to your iPhone or iPad doesn’t matter because iCloud backup means setting up a new device is simple. But it takes awhile. You could use iTunes on your Mac, wireless or Lightning cable, or you could get something iMazing.
Apple’s Busted Backup
iMazing is a Mac app that helps you back up an iPhone, iPad, or even an iPod touch– to your Mac. Wait. Doesn’t that happen already? Yes. And no. iMazing does not require iTunes or iCloud (and there are some problems with both) but wirelessly backs up nearby and multiple iOS devices to a Mac.
Here’s why I have an interest in something like iMazing. Through the more than 10 years of iPhone and eight years of iPad ownership, I’ve had two devices that would not back up to iTunes. iCloud was OK, but restoring often took hours. iTunes would not do a backup. Check out Apple’s online support groups and you’ll see many tens of thousands of other iPhone and iPad users with a similar problem that Apple has not been able to fix.
Who knows. My mother’s iPad simply could not be backed up to iTunes and always received an error that there was not enough disk space. Huh? That’s crazy. A few times we completely restored the iPad and iPhone in question, and the next iTunes backup had the same problem. Not enough disk space on the Mac.
Apple has a massive backup problem it hasn’t fixed for many, many years. Maybe there is an issue with the disk image. Maybe it was the old HFS file system. Even the new APFS file system had the same problem. iMazing, though, gives Mac, iPhone, and iPad users a few more options than iTunes. From the Mac’s Menubar you’ll be able to see the status of each device you use and back up.
Note the battery status, wireless vs. Lightning/USB connection status, and even the last backup performed.
Guess what? You don’t need to open up iTunes for this. Just as cool, backups can be scheduled– daily, weekly, whenever. And, you can choose how many backups you want to keep. Restoring an old backup is just a click. The backup is encrypted, too.
Just look at the options you get. Location, Encryption, Automatic, Wireless, and even a low battery notification.
Your iPhone can be backed up even when it’s in your pocket (just needs to be on the same local Wi-Fi network so your Mac can find it, of course). Nothing is transferred over the public internet, either, and you choose where the backup gets stored; on your Mac’s disk drive, an external disk drive, or even a NAS (network attached storage device).
One of the most critical issues iPhone and iPad users have is battery life. iMazing has a built-in battery checker with notification.
Pretty much everything you can think of gets backed up. Music, Photos, Books, Messages, Contacts, Apps (important) and much more. You can set up a new iPhone using iMazing. Alright, so there’s lots going on with iMazing and the companion app, iMazing mini.
What’s the catch?
There are two issues.
The first is the iMazing price tag. Think hefty. iMazing mini, though is free, and contains many of the same features, so that’s a good thing.
Apple’s iCloud backup for iPhone and iPad is free, stores most of the important information you want to save, but is limited to 5GB for free, which forces users to fork over $2.99 a month for 200GB of iCloud storage. Restoring works, but is painfully slow as all apps need to be downloaded and re-installed on each iOS device, and often must be reconfigured.
That process works but a backup to and from the Mac can be much faster, though not always automatic, and there’s the aforementioned backup problem, yet restoring to a new device is rather simple.
The second issue for iMazing is the geek factor. iMazing is a geek’s friend because it does so much, offers more controls, easier backup and restores, and is very good for a family of iPhones and iPads where someone takes control and manages the backup and restore process for family members. The iMazing mini version, which is free, runs from the Menubar and one Mac can backup other iPhones and iPads.
iMazing is just short of amazing when compared to the cumbersome usage of iTunes for iOS backups, and the options are to die for– features that go beyond iCloud backups.