A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I used to work for the Apple Store Sydney as a Genius (note the capital "G" denoting this is a title, not a claim!)
We saw many things at the Genius Bar, but the one thing which consistently amazed me was the number of times people didn't back up their devices, whether Mac or iPhone.
In fact, the only time someone cried (literally) at the Genius Bar was when the Mac owned by a young couple had a failed hard disk. The couple didn't have a backup, and consequently they lost every precious photo they'd taken of their baby's first year!
What do you do in such a situation? There was nothing we could do but hand over a box of tissues.
Fast forward to a day in the future when you too lose all the photos on a device. I'm not saying this scenario may happen, I'm saying that in all likelihood this scenario will happen.
There are a myriad reasons. Phones get stolen, are dropped in the ocean, are forgotten on a train in a foreign city. Your ex could make off with your iPhone. Your roommate could make off with your iPhone. Your ex and your roommate could make out and then make off with your iPhone! And then everything on that iPhone which wasn't backed up is gone. Forever.
Apple, as the inventor of the smartphone, has looked into it's crystal ball to see this day, and has you covered. All you have to do is take advantage of what's available. So let's revisit how to back up your iPhone.
Firstly, some data doesn't need to be backed up separately. If you have your calendar, contacts, notes, reminders, and email in the cloud then your data is automatically synchronised, and in the event you need to replace your phone that information can be synchronised with your new phone in just a few minutes.
But what about everything else? Your game progress? Your Skype login? Your FaceBook account? And, more important than all of those - your photos!
Most people know that backing up their iPhone to their Mac or PC can be done via iTunes, but this only happens when you're on the same wifi network, and when your computer is on and iTunes is running. In some cases this is further restricted to happen only when your iPhone is physically connected to your computer.
But when you're out and about - the times you're most likely to be taking family snaps - your computer is nowhere near you. If you're on holidays it could be weeks before you get back to your computer!
Apple has a number of solutions to this, and they all assume you have an iCloud account.
- A free iCloud account gives you 5 GB of storage
- 50 GB of iCloud storage costs $1.49 / month
- 200 GB of iCloud storage costs $4.49 / month
- 2 TB (or 2000 GB) of iCloud storage costs $14.99 / month
- These are Australian prices, and include GST
- Prices may change, so click here for current information
If you have an Apple ID (for the iTunes or App Store) then use that to sign in to iCloud.
Once you've setup your iCloud account on your iPhone you're ready to use one of Apple's backup solutions.