People who own iPhones and other iOS devices are notoriously fierce it terms of their loyalty to Apple. After all, few companies apart from the Cupertino-based tech giant can claim to have fans willing to spend days or even weeks outside their stores just so they can be among the first to get their hands on the new iDevice. What many new users don’t know, however, is that these devices don’t necessarily have to be part of a closed ecosystem overseen by Apple at all times. While the company does develop a good amount of useful apps for its devices, it’s often impossible to please everyone, which is why a lot of users are constantly on the lookout for alternatives that might better suit their specific needs. With that in mind, today we are going to talk about one such app that goes by the name of AnyTrans and aims to be a good alternative to iTunes in many ways.
iMobie’s AnyTrans is a device manager that offers a wide range of very useful tools and features, such as data sync, file transfer, app management, and more. In short, it’s an almost all-in-one software suite that can help iOS users with their day to day activities. More importantly, however, AnyTrans lets you transfer large amounts of data between various devices in a relatively short amount of time. Needless to say, this can be a pretty big game changer, as using traditional means of transferring loads of music or photos can be very time-consuming and inefficient. Well, not anymore.
Prerequisites, Setup, and UI
Getting things started with AnyTrans is very easy. The software features a free trial version that allows users to test its features for up to seven days, though only a limited number of items can be transferred during this time. In order to gain access to the full product, users can choose between one of three different types of licenses depending on their particular needs. Namely, the cheapest option is the standard Personal License (1 computer) priced at $39.99 followed by the $59.99 Family License (5 computers), and the $99 Business License (10 or more computers). Regardless of the license type, all full versions of AnyTrans include free support and 60 days money back guaranteed. As for the setup process itself, it’s simply a matter of downloading the software on your PC or Mac, activating it, and installing it anywhere on your computer. It usually only takes a couple of minutes at most.
The next order of business is to connect a compatible iOS device to your machine and after that you’re pretty much good to go. AnyTrans is compatible with a large variety of devices ranging from early iPads to the newer iPhone 7/7 Plus and everything in between. Basically, you can use any device running on iOS 5 or later. In addition, you’ll want to install the necessary iDevice drivers if you don’t have already have them, which can be quickly downloaded from the internet via the AnyTrans interface or installed from an existing iTunes setup (version 9.0 or later) if available. Once all the prerequisite steps have been taken, it’s time to jump in and start using AnyTrans.
What you’ll first notice is that iMobie’s device manager comes with a very simple and easy to use interface, which is quite a bit better than what iTunes offers. The UI is mostly white right off the bat but can be changed to one of three additional color schemes – Space Black, Space Gray, and Rose Pink. Regardless of its appearance, the interface is very intuitive and does a great job at presenting the contents of the connected iDevice in a clean and organized manner. Thanks to the fact that everything is so neatly organized, the software makes it easy to select different types of files like videos, songs or text messages and transfer all of them to a different device in one go. Naturally, you can also choose to transfer just a few files at a time, but if you’re reading this review chances are that you are mostly interested in doing things a lot faster than that.
Tools and Features
Despite the fact that AnyTrans proves to be a pretty good alternative to iTunes, it’s probably best not to look at it as a complete replacement for Apple’s software. In fact, AnyTrans can be used to sync or transfer data from the connected device to its iTunes library and vice versa, rebuild said libraries if they were damaged, and allows users to better manage their iTunes backups. The main advantage, however, is that AnyTrans offers users the option to avoid relying on the traditional library altogether. This means that you can create more customized playlists for your iDevice and store files that can’t be found on iTunes. If you’ve been around the comment section of Youtube for a while you’ve probably seen someone at one point saying something along the lines of “too bad this song isn’t on iTunes”. And this is where an alternative like AnyTrans comes in. If the song you’re interested in is fair use and free to download you can simply grab it and use AnyTrans to directly transfer it from your computer to your iOS device.
Since everything is pretty neatly organized, it’s a simple matter of selecting one or multiple files and sending them to the appropriate category, which in the example mentioned above would be found under Device Content – Audio – Music. The exact same process can also be used for other types of data like photos, videos, ebooks, notes, apps, podcasts, everything stored on the iCloud, and even full backups. The last part, in particular, might be pretty useful for some people as iTunes’ backup function isn’t exactly ideal because it doesn’t really show in detail what the backups actually contain. In other words, if you only want to restore specific portions of the backup, like maybe just contacts or emails, a software like AnyTrans comes in handy because it allows you to do just that.
Despite all the above, however, it is in this writer’s humble opinion that the most useful part of AnyTrans is actually its Data Migration feature. As mentioned at the start of this review, Apple fans tend to be loyal to the brand, with a large portion of the user base having owned at least a couple of different iOS devices over their lifetime. And, as anyone who had to import all their data from their old device to their new one can tell you, it can sometimes take a fair amount of work to restore everything in one go. This is especially true if the devices happen to be running on different iOS versions, which is often the case. AnyTrans takes care of that little problem by essentially allowing users to clone all the content found on their older device and transfer it all with one click to their newer one. Needless to say, both devices have to be connected simultaneously to a computer running AnyTrans and the whole process may take some time depending on the amount of data being transferred. Data Migration works with anything ranging from the usual things like tracks and pictures to those all-important – and sometimes difficult to transfer properly – game save files.
All in all, AnyTrans makes for a very nice software suite that tries to cater to regular users by simply offering an all-in-one iDevice manager, which also happens to be a good alternative to iTunes. The idea itself is certainly not new, however, in this particular case the software does work exactly as advertised for the most part. Admittedly, the price tag is nothing to sneeze at for a lot of people, however, the company does offer free lifetime support and 60 days money back guarantee just in case you don’t like the product. As always, though, it’s a good idea to test the product for yourself before committing to a purchase, which is why I suggest you first check out the 7-day free trial and then decide for yourself if AnyTrans is worth the $39.99/59.99 asking price. Chances are you won’t be disappointed by what the software has to offer.