The Best iPhone Transfer/Manager Software to Replace iTunes
Mobile • Updated on March. 15, 2019
Nowadays millions of people around the world take photo and video and receive billions of messages on their iPhones. Many of them need to manage these files: transfer, backup, print, save as PDF or just free up some space on the device without losing everything.
While iTunes is considered to be the classic tool for managing the content of your iPhone or iPad, not everyone is comfortable with it.
It’s darn confusing, even Apple agrees to this as the company slowly moves towards simplifying this application’s user interface.
It’s outdated. Not because iTunes was released a decade ago – NO. But because it was released a DECADE ago, and it still stays buggy and bloated.
It also limits file formats we can upload, and only purchased songs are allowed to sync to iTunes. There are other restrictions. iCloud and iTunes play well with iTunes content, but not those sourced elsewhere.
What’s more, the newer Apple iPhones seamlessly shoot/play 4K videos. But transferring 4K video onto iPhones is still not fast with iTunes. And if this program for some unknown reason doesn’t recognize the file – the chosen song or movie won’t be synced to your iPhone.
They all add up to plenty of people liking their iOS devices — iPhones and iPads — but not being too enamored of the iTunes world.
If you’re tired of iTunes like us, read on to see what the best iOS transfer and manager is available to replace iTunes.
The criteria: how we picked the best iPhone transfer/manager software
To determine the winner, these were the guidelines used to help narrow down the competition and find the best of the bunch:
- Feature set – In most of our reviews at thesweetbits, the apps we consider generally share a foundational set of features. In the case of device management, there’s a lot of variety. The landscape includes apps for managing media, multi-device data transfer, and Contacts/SMS backup. While diverse, we still look for features that are must-haves and unique features that set an app apart.
- Design and ease of use – App design, both UI and UX, is important in more than one way. Before an app is even thoroughly explored by a potential user, the UI sets the first impression and then the UX proves to show how intuitive and easy the app is at accomplishing the task. When it comes to syncing your data, this should be a trivial experience.
- Compatibility – Of course the best iPhone manager software should be compatible with any iPhone, including iPad and iPod,etc. But there are some tools that stop updating to support the latest iOS 12 and iPhone XS.
The best alternative to iTunes: iMazing 2
(Price starts at $34.95; 20% OFF exclusively for TheSweetBits readers; supports both Windows and Mac)
iMazing 2 from developer DigiDNA, it was always known as the powerful tool for allowing Mac and PC users to go beyond iTunes’ capabilities and take control of their mobile devices.
The software could be used to back up iPhone and iPad, save and transfer documents, media and data between phone and computer and for lots of other useful tasks and options.
Take a closer look at iMazing 2
iMazing is a computer application that needs to be installed on your Mac or Windows PC. You do not need to install anything on your iPhone, iPad or iPod.
We truly love its pleasant and intuitive interface. The app is designed to mimic iOS’ aesthetics, so you’ll be familiar right from the start.
Upon pairing your iOS device with the app, you will see a list of applications and file types in the left-positioned pane that can be accessed, previewed, and backed up.
iMazing is fully compatible with iOS 12 and macOS Mojave. The Dark Mode is supported as well.
If you ask us one the best feature of iMazing 2, we will go with this useful feature. When anyone buys new iPhone or iPad, his major concern is how to transfer data from old iPhone to new iPhone, or transfer files from iPhone to his computer or vice versa.
iMazing’s Quick Transfer feature is a new and simple way to drag-n-drop any kind of data from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to another device, and with the added bonuses of being able to do it all in one go, and of customizing which content is transferred.
Try dropping files to your iPhone, and iMazing will present you with all compatible apps. In the picture above, we see that an audio file will be transferred to the Music app.
In addition to managing music, apps, photos, videos, PDF documents, notes, call logs and voice memos, iMazing 2 even supports for WhatsApp chats. The recent version 2.9 provides a thrilling new way for transferring, copying and printing in WhatsApp and iMessages chats.
There is no doubt – it’s much easier to browse WhatsApp and iMessage chats from up to down on the desktop. No more scrolling through hundreds of messages! You can search and select the most important messages and save them in the way that makes sense for you – by name, date, topic ets.
You can transform messages or even threads into documents, which you can organize into folders, upload to storage or share as email attachments.
Better yet, with iMazing you can export all of them or just selected ones and save for later use. Just select the media files you want, whether they’re WhatsApp messages, songs, movies, TV shows, podcasts, or audiobooks, and select the export option, all your files will be safe and secure local backup in one convenient place – your computer.
There are other limitations to be aware of. Certain data types including Messages, call history, voicemail, Contacts, and Notes can only be accessed from a backup, rather than the device itself.
Let’s focus on the backup feature then as it is the more relevant nowadays with users updating their current devices and buying new iPhones.
With iMazing you can backup iPhone in no time with just a single click. It features the ability to transfer your valuable data from your iPhone to computer without any risks of accidentally deleting it. This is not only great for users upgrading from iPhone 6 or 7 to iPhone 8 but also for those who want to free up space on their iPhone or iPad.
What’s more, iTunes is power, but it only keeps one current backup per device. Every time you back up your device, your last backup is overwritten, potentially resulting in data loss.
In contrast, iMazing lets you keep multiple backups anywhere you like, and browse archives with Time Machine-style simplicity.
It archives your backups automatically, then restore a complete backup or just the elements you need.
Another feature of iMazing is encrypted backups. To protect your data, we strongly recommend enabling backup encryption for all of your devices. If you enable backup encryption,all future backups of the device will be encrypted, regardless of the software you back it up with. Do remember your encryption password.
And do note that backups do not include your iTunes Media Library (Music, Books, iTunes U, Podcasts, Ringtones and Movies synced or purchased on iTunes), so that data will not be included and should be synced separately if needed.
The device management function is crucial for updating or re-installing iOS.
Personally, I prefer more to update my devices on the device itself. But in some cases using Device Manager on a computer is the only option.
Device manager can also be used for handling your device in recovery or DFU mode, removing paired devices (without requiring a connection) and so on.
We know the latest update to iTunes 12.7 dropped the ability to download and manage your iOS apps on your Mac or PC.
Luckily, the developer updated iMazing so you can get any or all of your apps from the App Store and save them on your Mac.
It’s a boon when you’re setting up or changing several iOS devices at once.
Last but not the least, one of the useful features is Contacts management.
To a guy who frequently changes his Phones and SIMS, this contacts export feature is a great time-saver.
With the help of iMazing, no contact details should be lost again due to theft, phone failure, errors, etc. The whole iPhone address book could be saved on Windows or Mac powered computer very quickly.
The one complaint we have with iMazing is it occasionally feels a little slower to use than iTunes. We have over 100Gb of stuff in there, sometimes it can take around 15 min.
But as you can see, iMazing 2 in general is really a much broader tool that brings you greater control over backing up and extracting data from your iOS devices.
iMazing is available both for OS X and Windows, and you can download iMazing 2 a trial to test it for yourself. There are 3 pricing options: Basic (1 license for $34.99), Universal (2 licenses for $39.99), or Family (5 licenses for $55.99). The price seems a bit steep, but the developer offers TheSweetBits readers an exclusive 20% discount here.
Also great: Waltr 2 (Easily drop data to iPhone)
(Price starts at $39.95, supports Windows and Mac)
If you are looking for the fastest & easiest way to get any media content from your computer onto any Apple mobile device (iOS or not) — WALTR 2 is the way to go. The app represents an entirely different experience between you and your Apple device.
Waltr 2 is able to transfer any video and music files into any Apple device without iTunes. It converts files on the fly, keeping lossy files in a supported lossy format.
The app also works with 4K Ultra HD videos, ePub and iBooks files, along with PDFs.
Waltr 2 includes Wi-FI support in addition to transferring files over USB. So if you disconnect your USB cable while transferring, the app will resume the connection over Wi-Fi.
It also has a feature called Automatic Content Recognition. With ACR, you should get all of the meta information for your content filled in where it’s missing, so your music and videos look like they were purchased from the iTunes Store.
It works on MacOS 10.9+/Windows 7 or newer. Softorino charges US$39.95 for WALTR 2, which is on par with iMazing that offer more functionality. But this “one-purpose” app works very well since it isn’t overpacked with stuff and fly really quickly.
Price starts at $39.99, supports Mac and Windows
AnyTrans is a nice iOS mover and iOS manager for Mac and PC. It does what you expect it to do in a pretty unusual way (see those circles below).
What’s more, the newest AnyTrans 6 can act as a safety measure by backing up data.
We know that iTunes backup usually is a long journey. Besides, iTunes backs up the whole device to computer, we can not choose the certain data type.
With AnyTrans, not just wholly backup, it also enables to choose the exact data types, like contacts, photos, messages, etc. to save them on computer (PC/Mac).
AnyTrans allows you to access and export your files stored in iTunes or iCloud, covering notes, contacts, messages, call history, etc. No need of restoration, you are enabled to find data you need in the backup even it is just a piece of message.
AnyTrans integrates the full access to your iCloud Drive. Where it can quickly sync the latest version of your presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and any other kind of document easily to your desktop.
The another nice feature of AnyTrans 6 is the ability to download YouTube video from the web and transfer to your iPhone that is watchable offline.
There were a few glitches and it can manage iCloud, but it will not do this if 2FA (two factor authentication) is enabled. We didn’t want to disable this security feature, so we didn’t try that part of the app.We also saw a few glitches in the interface and a message box in a foreign language.
(Price starts at $59.95, supports Windows and Mac)
TunesGo is a simple iTunes alternative to manage files on your iPhone, iPod, and iPad. With this app, you can manage not only music, but also videos, photos, contacts, messages, apps, and other files on your Apple iPhone or Android device.
We played with TunesGo on a Windows 10 to manage our iOS device and found the New TunesGo is also coming with a user-friendly UI. The functions are placed one another on the top bar of the window for easier access.
We loved the built-in contacts editing feature where you can search for duplicates as well as make changes. There’s also a good range of formats you can import/export such as Vcard, Outlook, CSV, and more.
We also liked the app which also being able to directly transfer information from one iDevice to another. All the media type whether it is music, photos or even videos, you can easily transfer it back and forth from Computer to iOS device or the other way around. Or do the same from iOS to iTunes and iTunes to iOS.
We’ve tested to make a backup of an App that is not anymore in the Appstore, but this did not work on my iPhone because it is only supported on older iOS version until 8.3. The removal of Apps worked well.
Everything works like a charm except for the exporting of Apps, but this is now well managed via iCloud so no big issue here.
(Price starts at $29.99, for Mac only, check WinX MediaTrans for Windows)
Using MacX MediaTrans you can backup your iPhone or iPad, manage music and videos, create ringtones and even use your iOS device as an external flash drive.
Managing videos with this tool is pretty easy. It also helps users in transferring photos from iPhone to Mac in high speeds. In our test it takes seconds to transfer a hundred pictures. Although not all of them are HD, that is a satisfying speed.
It’s worth mentioning that when you initiate the transfer, MediaTrans will utomatically convert the videos to MP4 format, and also converts large MKV, AVI etc to 50% smaller H.264 for iPhone, and in directions right for the display.
MediaTrans also takes care of ringtones, allowing you to create and edit Ringtones on your computer and transferring them to your iOS device with a few clicks.
All things considered, MediaTrans is a handy app that transferring files between iOS device and computer in a quick, efficient manner. But we were a bit disappointed that you must return to the main screen to move between the various functions.
(Price starts at $39.95, supportsWindows and Mac)
iExplorer is a simple iPhone manager application which is designed to do three important things: a) mount your iOS devices like a basic USB “thumb” drive and b) transfer and export Voicemails, Address Book Contacts, Calendar Events, Reminders, Notes & More…c) access more files and folders without modifying or jailbreaking your device.
iExplorer also features many handy options, such as browsing and extracting backups from Apple devices or iTunes. Files can be easily transferred between computers and devices via drag-and-drop in Explorer.
iExplorer helps people lots, but in order to mount the iPhone, iPad or iPod to a Mac finder or Windows explorer and be able to view audio as well as video files, installation of the QuickTime drive and disk-mounting framework has to be done. This takes lots of extra space on your computer. Also, the folder mount operation can occasionally cause the system to hang for longer than a minute.
(Free iPhone manager, for Windows only)
Many users rely on iTunes, mainly for music files managing. However, only purchased songs on iPhone are allowed to sync to iTunes, and there is no function to transfer songs between iDevices.
CopyTrans Manager is a faster, lighter, free iTunes alternative for better music management.
It helps you perform all the basic iTunes functions on your iPhone, iPad and iPod including add and remove songs and videos, create and edit playlists, find and add album artwork and edit track tags.
As soon as you connect your iOS device to your Windows PC, the program starts analyzing the contents of your gadget and reveals your music library and ringtone collection.
If multiple Apple devices are connected to the PC, then a preferred one can be picked from a drop-down menu. In order to clean up music and movies, CopyTrans Manager can be set to display only duplicates in the list, thus allowing you to delete cloned files while leaving out the originals.
But its focus is solely on music, videos, apps, and playlists. It does not backup contacts or photos; you’ll have to purchase a separate app from WindSolutions to accomplish that.
Another problem is that the program needs Apple Mobile Device Service driver to be installed on your PC in order to work.
Considering that it is free to use, CopyTrans Manager is good tool for managing music and movies files on idevices without resorting to the complicated and resource-hogging iTunes. However, it’s only available for Windows PC. No Mac version is available yet.
All of the above apps are really great at what they do. And more importantly, they do it better than iTunes — and that’s the catch.
Frankly, we’re truly in love with iMazing 2. This is not just a solid replacement for Apple iTunes but brings some useful – and easy to understand – options to the table too. iMazing is amazing. Go ahead, enjoy 20% OFF your entire order.