Apple’s closed ecosystem is a boon for most of its users. The upside is that it withholds full access, which means devices are very hard to break accidentally. The downside is also that it withholds full access, meaning advanced users can’t get to parts they’d like to. What’s good for casual or non-technical users is not necessarily good for experts or more technically advanced users. In fact, many defected Android users cite this as the main reason they no longer bite the Apple.
Fortunately for Apple power users, third-party app developers, such as iMobie and its app AnyTrans, work hard to provide safe and secure access to the lower levels of the iOS platform.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by iMobie. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
The purpose of AnyTrans is to safely and securely allow users who know what they are doing to access the deepest little crevices of the iOS platform, to enable elegant and easy management and backup of your files and apps not only in your device but across all your iOS devices. You can do what you like, within reason.
Bristling with features
The first thing that strikes you is the interface — a fresh new layout with clean lines and easy-to-understand buttons. The capabilities of the utility have expanded, so there are many more buttons to push.
Once you’ve plugged in your iPhone, you have the option of adding files or photos to your device by dragging to the image of your phone in the center. Down the right side you have some interesting quick start buttons to move to tasks like managing your media, home screen, photos and iTunes.
The options on the top right are shortcuts to frequently used tasks. With it, you can manage your iPhone photos, music videos, messages and apps, and by manage, I mean move around, back up and copy from one device to another (provided you have more than one plugged in). These links are basically shortcuts to the detailed links on the left menu.
On the bottom of the right menu are links to some more involved tasks, like managing your home screen icons, turning your iPhone into a handy USB drive, app file sharing (a way to move files into and out of apps, like PDFs into Kindle and Books, etc.), putting content into iTunes, converting HEIC pictures into JPG and finally large file sending via the cloud. This is where the real meat of the app lies – in doing things that are not conventionally possible.
The real engine of the app is the menu on the left, so let’s go through it. Device manager helps you move, add and delete media and apps on your device. The iCloud manager does the same but for the files in your iCloud and the same for the iTunes library button.
Then we get into some really interesting territory. Using the Phone switcher, you can plug in more than one phone and migrate your files from one to the other. My test to get the software to recognize more than one phone was a bit of a challenge, but it’s possible that was due to a cabling issue. Always use new cables for this kind of work.
In addition to allowing free backups that you can save anywhere you like, you can also back up and restore social media files from your devices. For example, WhatApp files from an old phone or even migrate them from an Android device. You also have additional fun features like media downloader, app downloader, ringtone creator and screen mirroring for downloading online videos, installing apps no longer on the store for which you have local backups, and mirroring and recording your iOS screens on the PC.
It’s very hard within the Apple ecosystem (without a lot of undesirable jailbreaking) to get into the innards of the machine like this. They’ve done a terrific job of making it easy and – dare I say fun – to poke about the apps and data on your iPhone.
As far as what you have in this app that you don’t already have in iTunes, the biggest plus for me is the ability to save backups and files where you please on your system, rather than being forced to store them in hidden Apple directories on your drive.
This new version of AnyTrans is a complete reworking of the original, and it’s a whole new app now: bigger and better and more professional than the original. There are many fun features, like screen mirroring and some very helpful backup strategies not possible using iTunes.
The app costs $39.99 for a one-year license on one computer or $49.99 for a lifetime license for one computer. You can also, if you wish, spread the love and stump up $69.99 to license it on five of your family computers. Best of all, it works with both Macs and Windows PCs.