iOS 13 might let users transfer iPhone backup data with a cable

Posted:
in iOS edited July 3
Graphical assets and a code snippet in Apple's latest iOS 13 beta suggests the upcoming operating system will allow users setting up a new device, or restoring a device from a backup, to transfer critical data over a wired connection.




Included in the third beta release of iOS 13, issued to developers on Tuesday, is evidence that Apple is developing a new method of transferring data during the device setup process.

First spotted by 9to5Mac, an icon and string in the Setup app, which runs when first configuring a device or after performing a reset, suggest Apple is working on a solution that ferries data from one iOS device to another via a direct physical connection.

Currently, the setup process involves downloading and installing backup data stored in iTunes or iCloud. Alternatively, devices running iOS 11 or later can use the Quick Start feature to wirelessly transfer data from an old device to a new device, a procedure similar to the setup process for Apple Watch.

The newly discovered assets include a graphic depicting what appears to be an iPhone with Face ID connected to an iPhone with Touch ID via cable, perhaps signifying a tethering between new and old devices. A code string seemingly backs up the theory that a new wired transfer option is in the offing.

PROGRESS_DETAIL_WIRED = "Keep your other iPhone connected to this iPhone and connected to power until the transfer is complete.";

How a user is expected to concurrently connect one iPhone to another iPhone as well as a power source is unknown. Apple does not market a Lightning-to-Lightning cable, though the company could conceivably unveil such a product alongside a new iPhone expected for release this fall. Another option could be existing cables that terminate in Lightning and USB-C, forwarding rumors that claim the next-generation handset will make the switch away from Apple's proprietary protocol.

The publication was unable to force the graphical asset or code string to appear on a device running the latest iOS 13 beta.

Apple is expected to update its iPhone lineup this fall with three new smartphones. Like last year, two OLED models and one LCD variant are anticipated, with the top-end versions rumored to boast a new triple-camera array that adds a super-wide angle shooter to the current wide-angle and telephoto modules. Other rumblings point to a dual-camera array for the follow-up to Apple's "entry level" XR series.

Along with the camera upgrades will be the usual assortment of hardware and software performance improvements.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,643member
    This is a great option idea for people who worry (mostly needlessly, but whatever) about BT or wireless transfer of important data. Never mind that it’s encrypted, the Lightning-to-Lightning cable idea will reassure the non-savvy and/or paranoid, and trust is an important part of the Apple experience.
    cgWerkschiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,366member

    I saw the headline and was wondering what it was about, given that I restore my backups onto a new phone via a cable!

    If all the contents, including data, pics, music, video and app data can be transferred from one phone to another, this will be amazing when upgrading to a new phone.

    mwhitejahbladejbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19

    I saw the headline and was wondering what it was about, given that I restore my backups onto a new phone via a cable!

    If all the contents, including data, pics, music, video and app data can be transferred from one phone to another, this will be amazing when upgrading to a new phone.

    Wouldn’t a typical situation be the device getting the data from the Cloud? Or are you referring to locally stored data that does not sync with any cloud service?
  • Reply 4 of 19
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,064member
    If true, it would have been a long time coming but an excellent option. Just recently I mentioned the lack of this kind of transfer in another thread. It would have eradicated all my problems in one foul swoop.

    I hope it becomes a reality.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,093member
    I don't get it. The connector question is an interesting one for sure (Yay if USB-C is coming, that would mean USB-C to Lightning with older iOS devices, then presumably USB-C to USB-C on newer ones), but why not just over WiFi? All the apps download from the cloud now so it's just whatever user data is on your device really, beyond the QuickStart process. Can't keep it on power unless you're using wireless charging... so, huh.

    I was already thinking about this process today. I just did a backup and restore in iTunes today to fix my Spotlight Search not working, first time in a long time I've had to do one of those aside from a physical device swap. Pretty painless, didn't even have to do the second restore that I've had to do in the past to restore all my home screen layouts. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,296member
    Can’t believe that something as basic as this took so frikkin’ long to implement. 

    A welcome move, nonetheless. 
  • Reply 7 of 19
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 728member
    Can’t believe that something as basic as this took so frikkin’ long to implement. 

    A welcome move, nonetheless. 
    My guess is the (supposedly] arrival of USB-C makes it possible. 
    edited July 3
  • Reply 8 of 19

    PROGRESS_DETAIL_WIRED = "Keep your other iPhone connected to this iPhone and connected to power until the transfer is complete.";

    If that's possible out of the box, then I'm left wondering if Apple is going to include a cable that a phone to be connected to another phone and power at the same time?  Or is this functionality only going to be available with the purchase of yet another adapter? 
  • Reply 9 of 19
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,954member


    PROGRESS_DETAIL_WIRED = "Keep your other iPhone connected to this iPhone and connected to power until the transfer is complete.";

    How a user is expected to concurrently connect one iPhone to another iPhone as well as a power source is unknown. Apple does not market a Lightning-to-Lightning cable, though the company could conceivably unveil such a product alongside a new iPhone expected for release this fall.
    At first I laughed at the stupidity of an obvious rookie programming error.
    But then I realized that was just too stupid of an error to be an error...

    My guess is either:
    -- A special lightning cable available (mostly) to Apple technicians that would enable data transfer while supplying power.   That would resolve a problem where a user buys a new phone and wants the Apple technician to setup his new phone -- but the old phone has a 10% charge and no current iCloud backup.
    -- Or, more likely, a special cable/dongle that will enable a user to ALSO listen to the standard earbuds while powering their phone (which would resolve one of the main complaints when they eliminated the headphone jack.)

    This could well be a really slick, typical Apple way of resolving an irritating problem.
    edited July 3
  • Reply 10 of 19
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 728member

    PROGRESS_DETAIL_WIRED = "Keep your other iPhone connected to this iPhone and connected to power until the transfer is complete.";

    If that's possible out of the box, then I'm left wondering if Apple is going to include a cable that a phone to be connected to another phone and power at the same time?  Or is this functionality only going to be available with the purchase of yet another adapter? 
    My guess, which can be totally wrong, is it’s mainly for Genius to help you transferring old data. 
    edited July 3 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 19
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,911member
    matrix077 said:
    Can’t believe that something as basic as this took so frikkin’ long to implement. 

    A welcome move, nonetheless. 
    My guess is the (supposedly] arrival of USB-C makes it possible. 
    Probably not. We've been able to transfer data from a computer using USB 2.0 since day one through iTunes. I'm thinking this may have more to do with the changes to iTunes and it not being the repository for iPhone backups, if not right away, at some point in the future.
    matrix077watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    frantisekfrantisek Posts: 493member
    Anyway it is probably next step to make iPhone less dependent on PC or other infrastructure and in first phase help technicians move data as was mentioned. You can hardly make iCloud backup with 5 GB of free storage with GIGs of data. I did quick search and estimates are that Apple had in 2018 155/850M paid/free users of iCloud. So it is about 18% paying. Plus there is hundrets of millions devices without iCloud. I just met one morning :-)

    Similarly Wach AppStore will make watch more independent.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,150member
    A simple Lightning to Lightning cable to plug the phones together and setting one of the phones onto a wireless charging pad. Now it's charging and transferring. Since they are plugged together, there could be enough power to send to both phones also as they're transferring Data. Maybe not enough to charge both, but to keep the batteries of the 2 phones from draining down.
    GeorgeBMacchiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,954member
    jbdragon said:
    A simple Lightning to Lightning cable to plug the phones together and setting one of the phones onto a wireless charging pad. Now it's charging and transferring. Since they are plugged together, there could be enough power to send to both phones also as they're transferring Data. Maybe not enough to charge both, but to keep the batteries of the 2 phones from draining down.
    Oh Geez!  I hadn't thought of that.
    I'm old.  My iPhone 6+ is old...
    ...   Can't keep up with these new fangled gadgets!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,365member
    I don't see a need to charge and backup at the same time. Just ensure both phones are fully charged in the first place.

    This may be a great idea since Apple has screwed up baking up with iTunes.

    That Apple stopped backing up apps bugs me no end. They're forcing out 32-bit and dead apps, at the price of unsupported but still functional apps that are no longer available at the App Store.

    Backing up via iTunes has always been faster for me than OTA, and is my preference.
  • Reply 16 of 19
    repressthisrepressthis Posts: 399member

    “Transfer Directly from iPhone”
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    chasm said:
    This is a great option idea for people who worry (mostly needlessly, but whatever) about BT or wireless transfer of important data. Never mind that it’s encrypted, the Lightning-to-Lightning cable idea will reassure the non-savvy and/or paranoid, and trust is an important part of the Apple experience.
    Of course, we do have governments proposing end-to-end encryption being not so end-to-end. Maybe they are actually more savvy.

    I really like this idea, especially given the history of transferring to a new Mac most of us are familiar with.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,093member
    mike1 said:
    matrix077 said:
    Can’t believe that something as basic as this took so frikkin’ long to implement. 

    A welcome move, nonetheless. 
    My guess is the (supposedly] arrival of USB-C makes it possible. 
    Probably not. We've been able to transfer data from a computer using USB 2.0 since day one through iTunes. I'm thinking this may have more to do with the changes to iTunes and it not being the repository for iPhone backups, if not right away, at some point in the future.
    macgui said:
    I don't see a need to charge and backup at the same time. Just ensure both phones are fully charged in the first place.

    This may be a great idea since Apple has screwed up baking up with iTunes.

    That Apple stopped backing up apps bugs me no end. They're forcing out 32-bit and dead apps, at the price of unsupported but still functional apps that are no longer available at the App Store.

    Backing up via iTunes has always been faster for me than OTA, and is my preference.
    All the backup functionality in iTunes moved to the Finder and remains unchanged.
    edited July 3 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 19
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,366member

    I saw the headline and was wondering what it was about, given that I restore my backups onto a new phone via a cable!

    If all the contents, including data, pics, music, video and app data can be transferred from one phone to another, this will be amazing when upgrading to a new phone.

    Wouldn’t a typical situation be the device getting the data from the Cloud? Or are you referring to locally stored data that does not sync with any cloud service?


    I'm talking about a scenario wherein backups are local. My iPhone storage usage has gone well past 200 GB now. I do not want to use iCloud Photos, since I am not comfortable with the "delete in one place, deletes it everywhere" working.

    I do subscribe to iTunes Match, so my music is generally safe.

    But when I get a new phone, if I can simply put the SIM into the new phone, then connect a cable from the old phone to the new one and then transfer everything at one go, it beats having to wait for data to come down from the Cloud.

    CheeseFreezecgWerkswatto_cobra
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