Wednesday, September 23, 2015

More about iPhone backup

Last week we talked about backing up your iPhone, which, by the way, is a super important thing to do on a regular basis. If I ever lost all of the precious photos that I've taken at the Arboretum, I'd... I'd... well, I'm not going to let that happen, and neither should you. 

Apple has made it ridiculously easy to back up your iPhone to the nefarious cloud that we've all heard about. In case the term "cloud" is confusing, it is really just a bunch of (land-based) computer servers that store your data, known to Apple's slick marketing and technical team as iCloud. Lucky for you and me, backup is done automatically on your iPhone through iCloud, usually an hour or two before or after midnight, but only if your phone is turned on, charging, locked, and Wi-Fi enabled. Apple even gives you 5GB of free storage space to welcome your data.

There is also the option of using iTunes that's installed on your computer to back up your iPhone as a physical backup to the iCloud backup. The iTunes backup is stored on your computer's hard drive, whereas the iCloud backup disappears into Apple's network of servers (iCloud) in distant lands of their choosing. My choice is to do both: Let the iCloud backup happen seamlessly on its own while you sleep, but do an occasional iTunes backup to your computer for your own piece of mind--which might help you sleep better.

But, of course, nothing is this simple, and little things always seem to get in the way. For instance, do you have iCloud Backup enabled on your iPhone? Apple's iCloud isn't going to do you any good if it isn't.
To check, tap: Settings > iCloud, then scroll down to Backup.

Tap Backup and make sure that the toggle is pushed to the right and the light is green. If it is, then you've been in business all along, and your most current backup probably happened around midnight last night. If it's off, turn it on, then tap the blue letters a bit further down on your screen that say Back Up Now. Be sure that you are logged on to a Wi-Fi network first. This will be your first backup, so it will probably take a while. After that, the automatic iCloud backup should happen each night while you sleep.

As always, you'll get the best information from Apple itself. Here is a link that will tell you more than you probably want to know.

Stay tuned for more tips about backing up your iPhone to iTunes and how to manage your Photo Library

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

iPhone backup

The differences between iCloud backup, iCloud Drive, and iCloud Photo Library are confusing, to say the least. It’s always best to consult Apple support for the definitive steps to using any of Apple’s backup and cloud-based storage. Below is the Apple support webpage that I found most helpful. It details how to backup via iCloud and iTunes. Both of these methods create files that are meant to restore your iPhone. One is stored in the cloud (iCloud backup) and the other on your computer (iTunes backup).

When enabled on your iPhone, iCloud backup automatically backs it up each night when WiFi is enabled and while it is being charged. For iTunes backup, your phone has to be physically attached to your computer with the Lightning adapter that you use to charge your iPhone with.

Only relying on iCloud backup requires a certain amount of faith in Apple’s servers which I don’t have. That’s why I like to make a secondary backup to iTunes on an occasional basis that is safely stored on my computer—which is then backed up again to an external hard drive or another cloud-based backup service. The biggest advantage with iCloud backup is that any data you add to your phone is backed up every 24 hours, whereas the iTunes backup is only as current as the last time you got around to doing it.

There is another difference between the two backups: If you have Photo Library turned on, the iCloud backup does not back these images up because they are already stored on in Photos and pushed to all your Apple devices. iTunes backs up everything on your phone, including your photos. Here is yet another reason to make periodic backups with iTunes: if you accidentally delete an image on your phone, it automatically gets deleted on If you have an iTunes backup that you made after that photo was taken but before this deletion,  it will still be there to be retrieved. 

Keep in mind that neither of these backup methods are meant to be have their contents revealed to you, though there is third party software like Wondershare that can read the iTunes backup file and allow you to access the contents. Each of these backup methods is really intended to restore your iPhone after a reset, or to transfer data to a new phone. 

I will tackle iCloud Drive and iCloud Photo Library in a future post. Learning this stuff is a journey, not a destination. 


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Here are the steps for adding an Event to your iPhone calendar

1. Touch the underlined date and time of the event you want to add and this window will pop up:

2. Touch Create Event and your iPhone calendar will open with the date and time already added. If there is no end time, it defaults to one hour. 

3. Unfortunately, the title will show the subject line of the eNewsletter by default, so be sure to delete it and add the title of the correct event. In this case, it's: Season Finale Lizard Walk.

4. If you like, you can also add Boyce Thompson Arboretum as the location. (There are other things you can add, too, like add a few notes, but let's not complicate things!)

5. Touch Add in the upper right of your screen and you're done. 

6. Open up your Calendar app, and, as Yoda would say, "There, the event, should be."

If you're having problems with this, send me an email, and I'll try to help guide you through it. Kim