MANAGING YOUR DATA & MEDIA
Contacts, calendars, emails, text messages, photos, music, videos, apps—your personal data and media are important to you. And if you're like most people, you've accumulated quite a lot of it. Of course, you want to make sure you're managing it properly so that if something happens to your iPhone or computer, all your media and data are still available to you. You have two main options for managing your data and media: iTunes and iCloud. In this article, we'll guide you through both approaches to backing up your data and managing your music and photos.
SYNCING AND BACKING UP
TO TETHER OR NOT TO TETHER
iTunes is a legacy of the iPod era dating back to 2001, when you managed your music by connecting your iPod to your computer. You used the iTunes software to purchase or trans- fer music to your iPod, create playlists, and listen to music. With the coming of the iPhone and iPad and the arrival of other offerings such as movies, e-books, and apps, the role of iTunes has steadily expanded.
Eventually, Apple founder Steve Jobs didn't like the idea of mobile devices being tethered to a desktop computer. So in 2010, he ushered in the “post-PC era” by introducing iCloud. With iCloud, Apple made it possible to back up all your personal data and media without needing to physically connect to a computer. However, iTunes remains a useful option, especially for those who prefer to back up their devices manually.
BACKING UP YOUR DATA & MEDIA VIA ITUNES
If you don't already have the iTunes software installed on your computer, you can download it at apple.com/itunes. You'll need to log in with your Apple ID or create an account.
To back up your device, connect it to your computer with a cable and launch iTunes on your desktop. An icon for your iPhone or iPad should appear at the upper left corner of the screen.
Clicking the icon will bring up a new window with options for backing up. (If you don't see that window, double check that you've selected Summary under the Settings menu on the left.) Under Backups, you'll have the option to automatically back up via iCloud or “This computer” using iTunes.
If you prefer iTunes, select “This computer” to automatically back up your device every time you connect it to your computer. Even if you choose to use iCloud for automatic backups, you can still manually back up data to your computer by selecting Back Up Now. If you need to restore a backup, click Restore Backup.
GETTING STARTED WITH ICLOUD
Backing up with iCloud can be very convenient, as it occurs automatically without your input. It doesn't involve creating a special iCloud account either; just log in with your Apple ID in the iCloud settings on all the devices across which you want to sync content.
On your iOS devices, go to Settings > iCloud and type in your Apple ID and your password. If you don't have an Apple ID, select “Create a new Apple ID.” Once signed in, you'll see a list of functions you can keep in sync amongst your devices.
To log in to iCloud on a Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud and sign in with your Apple ID and password. Again, select those services you'd like to keep in sync. To log in to iCloud on a PC, download the iCloud Control Panel for Windows at apple.com/icloud/setup/pc.html.
To access your iCloud information from any Internet-connected computer, go to icloud.com, and sign in with your Apple ID.
You get 5 GB of storage for free. You can pay for more storage starting at $0.99 per month for an additional 20 GB. If you find yourself bumping up against the 5 GB limit and aren't inclined to pay for more storage, you can manage your storage by going to Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage on your iPhone or iPad to see what apps and services are taking up the most space.
BACKING UP YOUR DATA & MEDIA VIA ICLOUD
Once you've logged in to iCloud on your devices, your data and media are automatically synced to iCloud. If you add a new contact, for example, it automatically gets added to iCloud.
Syncing is different from backing up, however. Syncing doesn't back up your settings, and typically backs up photos to iCloud only when you're connected to a Wi-Fi network.
Backups, on the other hand, copy everything on your device, including the settings. If something happens to your iPhone or iPad or you decide to buy a new one, restoring from a full backup will leave it exactly the way it had been. Having a full and recent backup is the fastest way to restore all your data, media, and settings.
For convenience, you can set your iPhone or iPad to automatically back up via iCloud when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, plugged in, and locked. To do so, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup, and turn on iCloud Backup.
After turning on iCloud Backup, you'll notice a new option appear: Back Up Now, which allows you to back up immediately rather than wait for the right conditions for an automatic backup to occur.