Device upgrade question to those who are using an IOS device as your only computer

iOS & iPadOS

What are your strategies for upgrading to new devices without iTunes on a Mac or PC? I usually come across recommendations to back up to iTunes instead of just iCloud, when transferring everything to a new device.



Submitted by Serena on Saturday, March 12, 2016

hi. although i don't use an iOS device as my main / only computer, i would say the same for any use of a new device. don't bring it back from a backup, simply because you might actually be instantly damaging the performance of the new device with old rubbish you don't need. it is of course up to you, and if you have messages and things you really don't want to go without, then restoring is the only way to handle that. but i tend to set a new device up as new, and sign in to get contacts instantly, then manually download the apps i want. it does take longer to set up, but you know for sure you have a clean system with no rubbish held over from an old install.
i say the same thing, no matter if it's a mac, iOS, or windows.

Submitted by OldBear on Sunday, March 13, 2016

Thank you.
I guess there is some information from the health kit and messages that wouldn't iCloud over to a new device, but there might not be a reason to get rid of an old device when upgrading; using an iPhone as an iPod, for example.
A while back, I noticed my iPhone and a bluetooth keyboard had taken the place of a laptop I used to lug around all the time; just wondering what only using IOS would be like.

Submitted by Ken Downey on Monday, March 14, 2016

What about songs though? Is there a way to move them from one iDevice to another without a computer?

Submitted by OldBear on Monday, March 14, 2016

The music you've purchased through iTunes can be downloaded on your other iDevice, of course.
The music that you've copied to iTunes on a Mac or PC, then transferred to the device can not be exchanged between iDevices, as far as I know .It also is not backed up to iCloud either.
I'm not sure how the Google Drive and Dropbox apps handle music files though; I've never tried it.

Submitted by Toonhead on Monday, March 14, 2016

Hi. I know others prefer using iTunes which is ok, but on my last 2 iDevices I've used iCloud backups and all has gone great. Not only do your apps get backed up, but the iCloud backup preserves your folder structures, if you have those set up. I do, and it was a real pain to set those up, but once I did I didn't regret learning how. So I can see the good things about setting it up as a new iPhone because it's a new install, but then comes the part of downloading and installing all those apps, and dragging them into folders. What I usually do before I get a new iDevice is to do a bit of a cleanup routine. I'll get rid of any apps I'm not using so that makes things easier to manage. That way when I restore from the iCloud backup on my new device things have a better chance of going well because there's not so much data to restore. I don't think there's a real right or wrong way to do it, but that's how I do it. Note this process does take a bit of time so be ready to wait a while. I'm sure others have different ways, and that's the neat thing about it, you get lots of suggestions and you can choose which system works best for you.

Submitted by OldBear on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Thanks. I am considering keeping my old iPhone with the cell service deactivated. If I understand correctly, all your iDevices can be synced through iCloud and the key ring, etc. That might be another possibility that's a little like both options of new setup and a restore.
I probably will have a Mac or a PC with iTunes when I upgrade at the end of the year, but it would be nice to use IOS devices more as stand alone.

Submitted by SoundSchemer on Tuesday, March 15, 2016


I just use the settings app to update. For example, I just installed iOS 9.3 beta 7

Submitted by Jesse Anderson on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

While I have multiple computers I could use, I have pretty much stopped using iTunes for anything since OTA updates were supported. Like Dallas stated, I too just back up my contacts and documents from iWorks into iCloud, and setup a new phone or tablet as a new device. I then download all the apps I want again manually. Yes, this takes longer, but I consider it a good time to clean out the fridge a little. I only really install the apps I regularly use onto a new device. After a while I tend to have a lot of extra apps on a device that I've tried for work, or just out of personal curiousity.

As for music, I don't use iTunes for that either. I use Amazon for both purchased music and uploading some of my personal music collection. That way, my music is accessible on IOS, android, my Pc, or wherever I choose to listen. I do the same thing for movies because there's an Amazon app for everything, and I'm not as restricted as I would be via iTunes.

I also use Dropbox for some stuff too, and again, I have access to this content on my computers, IOS, Android, etc.

Submitted by OldBear on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I'm starting to see how setting up a device as new could work out best. I already have to go through Dropbox and Google Drive to get stuff over to my Linux computers, and I've only used iTunes to make "just in case" backups before installing updates for a long time now.