Apps to Transfer Data iPhone to iPhone Directly

Helping a friend migrate all her data from one iPhone to another… first thought is to backup from the first phone to iCloud, then restore from backup on the second phone. THEN I find ut she has some like 12G of music on the “old” phone. Unfortunately, there is no computer of any sort she can have access to, but she does have WiFi where she lives. Something just makes me nervous about doing so much data transfer not once, but twice, to iCloud and from iCloud. I have seen my own issues with iCloud when we are talking about kilobytes of text!

I nose around and find that there may be paid apps that promise to do a direct transfer, over USB from one phone to the other. One such is called AnyTrans, from iMobie. There may be others. Does ANYONE have any experience with any of these? Has anyone USED any if these? on the AnyTrans website I see a lot of very loud marketing,but found many customers seeming to have issues with full and correct functioning (which COULD mean not that much). Know of roundups or reviews?

How do all these people you know end up with iPhones but no computers and vast amounts of data that isn’t backed up? :wink: If the music was purchased from the iTunes Store, it should come back fine. If she somehow sideloaded it but without using iTunes, I really don’t know what will happen with an iCloud backup and restore.

@frederico was looking at some of these apps, but has been battling some health problems, so I don’t know if he’s available to answer.

Just a moment to try to help here (thanks for continuing to understand the why, @ace ) while in between fun.

First of all, I’m not aware of any Lightning to Lighting cables being made, let alone blessed (MFi) by Apple, so I don’t know how any software can make a cliam of this being remotely possible without an intermediate device or cloud service; second, without casting aspersions, many of these vendors, as I’ve sadly discovered, use servers located in China and elsewhere that frequently require your AppleID and password to function, and, I don’t know about you, but that’s the line when my paranoia (read: common sense) kicks in.

Adam is correct; if all of the music was purchased from iTunes Store, AND all of that music is still licensed to Apple from the publishers, then it should all transfer down again when performing an iCloud backup and restore, at least after the restore, where you can request to d/l all the music after all the apps and data are done.

However, any side-loaded music (via iTunes or otherwise), or music obtained via third party apps (Prime, etc.) and added to the music library won’t make the jump.

This does not account for third party streamers, like Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, Google Play, etc., whose music is usually cached and readily re-downloaded; and, even if purchased, are also available to download a second time (but there are limits she may have already reached); be sure you confirm what, if any portions of that 12GB being reported is actually in the main library, and not just a cumulative number from all music/media apps.

One would presume that if she doesn’t own a computer, and never has, that her tunes are all purchased via iTunes, but I would never want to make that guess.

I’m going to guess that, short of the latter scenario, you’re just going to have to borrow a computer (Mac or Windows) new enough to support the latest iTunes that supports her new iPhone, long enough to create a unique user account, so that you can do a complete backup and transfer all that music to the computer, then back to the new phone. The account and all the data can be deleted after successful completion.

Yes, iMazing and other apps will also do this, and arguably easier, but it’s not necessary.

Surely someone would grant access to a machine long enough (probably 6-8 hours for 12GB) to knock this out; a local MUG or a fee to a local shop may be required.

Next, I would ask her how much her music (and photos, etc.) means to her, and if there’s any value, she needs to find at least a used computer to do at least one backup now and again (or just keep the old iPhone and never obtain any new data).

I will note that I’ve encountered more than one person in possession of a gifted device that came preloaded or was otherwise later stuffed with “gifted” (ahem) DRM-less music and movies, for which they had no real ownership, and I declined to assist, as I didn’t want any pirated files moving across my machines, but that’s just me.

The good news is she presumably can keep both iPhones for as long as it takes to get this done, or just keep the old one as an iPod and carry both.

Oh, one crappy way to get this done just occurred to me: I suppose it would be possible using third party apps to move a non-DRM music library onto Dropbox or Google Drive as proxy, but it’s not possible (that I’m aware of) to do this with iCloud (it may have slipped my attention that a swiss-army-file-manager app exists that could be finessed, but it would likely be one file at a time).



1 Like

Forgot to directly address AnyTrans; I’ve tested it pretty thoroughly and it has the security issues I mentioned, especially for this specific operation. I don’t recommend it for this particular job. Again, iTunes will get this done for free, it just takes a couple of extra steps.

[sigh] one more thing before anyone corrects me: you can build a Lightning to Lightning connection using a Lightning to USB adapter, but it’s one way, and limited, as far as I know, to photos and video transfer; unless iOS 13 delivers the long requested full file access in September.

Last one, I swear: I’m going to assume she (and you) knows that Apple and Verizon, etc., offer this service, sometimes for free.

“DRM-less music and movies, for which they had no real ownership”

FYI - Almost all my material is DRM-less And owned. It was captured from CDs and older formats during the Sound Jam era. I do miss Sound Jam. Video is owned too, but via different software. So there are still some of us left who work that way. Give it another 20 years and most of us should die off. :wink:

95% of all my media is also DRM-free, but none of it illegally obtained; sorry if I confused the issue. I’ll race you to the grave.

BIG PROPS to @frederico for taking the time when "under the weather. I did continue to google after I made my post and decided to ditch that as a possibility. AnyTrans apparently is some desktop software, so it’s use it out. Indeed, all of the “apps” I spent time surveying came from China… and none of them are in the appstore! AND several seemed to want 40 bucks as well.

I’m kinda a third party trying to help someone out… who lives 1,000 miles away from me! And is challenged in many ways, she had brain surgery several years ago and isn’t exactly the same since then. All of her music HAD BEEN purchased through the itunes store it seems, mostly 8-10 years ago.I think she did have a laptop way back then (it got stolen). The music does reside ON her 5s… I got the ~12G figure from having her look up the storage. She simply can not answer the security questions either from google or apple to be able to get back into those accounts, trying that seems to have gotten her in tears.

This is southern GA, I doubt there even is any kind of Mac focused MUG anywhere around. She did manage to find a third party repair shop who said they may be able to at least back it up to a drive ($80 for the service). Seems they want the same fee to load it into her new phone. Complicating things even more, she has a broken leg, can’t travel out of the state and is recovering from some serious surgery (dozens of stitches).

Are we saying that because she can’t recover her original apple account, and has upgraded her phone, she has to lose all that music? They very much were 100% legitimately licensed and I have never heard that you LOSE them all if the original account is lost. No wonder so much is “pirated.” So what happens if she changes her account to a new one ON that phone, does an icloud backup, then signs into the new phone with that new account and restores? i.e. if she changes the account on the old phone, will all that music disappear?

Only other thing I can think of is to sign into the new phone with the new account, then moves the sim card to the new phone… then what happens to that old phone? Will it stay as the way it is now and essentially be like a touch, at least with all her music on it? Can she leave it without the sim card, or put the new phones sim card in it?

Again, thanks so much for helping me out here… I know this is kind of an unusual situation.

Man, I was already depressed as it is; now my heart is breaking for your friend.

Sadly, any music purchased prior to the point in time that Apple started selling music DRM free, is forever locked to just that phone, unless she can come up with a way to recover her existing Apple ID password.

Every DRM removal tool, including upgrading to iTunes match (which will automatically strip all the DRM and upgrade the quality at the same time), require an authorized device, which requires knowing the Apple ID password for the account under which the music was purchased.

Even though there are ways around even that, you need a computer.

At this time I can’t think of any immediate solutions; but to reiterate what I wrote above, yes, you can take out the SIM and just use it as an iPod. My old 4 and 5 are used in this manner.

I’m confused though, why she can’t use email password reset using the existing iPhone; is it not still logged into iCloud using the original account? If it is, why the security question route? Just do email reset and provide date of birth.

If it’s not logged into iCloud, I’m surprised the DRM-encumbered music even plays, but I suppose it might since the device itself remains authorized under the original AppleID. The other possibility is it still plays because it’s not DRM-ed, and would still transfer. I’d hate for her to pay $160 to find out only a fraction or less can be transferred, however. She’d be better off paying for an Apple Music subscription and access all the same music and more.

Here’s a pie in the sky offer: if we can figure out a way to recover her password, she can ship the 5 to me or a dozen other kind souls here, and we can transfer the music off, strip the DRM, and make it available for download. But if we have that password, one year of iTunes Match gets you the same thing plus a quality increase. Harrumph.

The other suggestion is to consider a “moral license”, and replace the music from another source, by obtaining only that which she’s rightly paid for. Poor soul has already gotten kicked around enough, it sounds, and taking another emotional hit just sucks.

Is there a way to find out what year she started buying? If late enough, it might already be all or mainly DRM free.

I’ll keep thinking, but nurse says it’s nap time.


1 Like

FYI, most (not all) music purchased after 6 Jan 2009 should be DRM free; is her memory good enough to know when she started buying?

There are iOS apps like Cesium Player that can look at the meta tags on each track and see what year purchased, but it would be pretty tedious to do one track at a time, and not something you can view as a sorted list.

If she thinks it’s mostly all after that date, we just need to go back to arranging an ITunes/iMazing transfer.

My friend, ALWAYS listen to the nurses… had a cousin who was head nurse anesthetist @Duke until retirement, nurses RULE! Here’s a story for ya… MANY years ago I came back from a ski trip only to have an MI. They had no room in CICU, so I got curtained off at the end of the hallway. Heard the attending ripping one of the residents a new one because he decided to not listen to one of their senior nurses… along the lines of “she has 30 years of actual experience, you’ve looked through a few books, DO WHAT SHE TELLS YOU!”

If only she had access to her original e-mail, but same issue, lost password. Account created WAY before they almost forced you to have multiple ways to recover should one “forget.” THAT was the first option I tried to get her to do.

BUT your vast knowledge and willingness to painfully give me access to it is very heartening to me at least! Funny, I DID contemplate “acquiring” the stuff, ripping it and feeding it to her gradually over a lot of time. I LOVE “the moral license…” it really hit the nail on the head. I tried to start explaining some of this to her, but talk about head spinning (she’s going through another unrelated medical crisis, is in pain). Think the smart thing is to go the simplest route, keep the old phone as a sort of iPod, swap the sim to the new phone with a very much recoverable apple id and e-mail password (that I set up for her!). AND maybe look at a music streaming service… I am a neophyte there, so I’m going to look into getting her a sub.

Again I can NOT thank you enough… I came here for help and I sure got it.

1 Like