I hate it when I see people I know have tech problems that shouldn’t happen. Mashable journalist Christina Warren broke her iPhone the other day, and just got a replacement. She was just saying on Twitter how she was unable to restore the new phone from her iCloud backup:
This sucks. You get a new phone, and you run the risk of losing all your accounts, setup, and some of your data.
iCloud is terribly unreliable. I get lots of emails from people who have this problem, who trusted iCloud to back up their device but, when the chips were down, just failed.
It’s a lot safer to back up your iPhone or iPad to iTunes. This is not only more reliable when restoring a device, but it’s a lot quicker, since the backup is local and you don’t need to download it. There may be times when the iTunes backup is unavailable. If you’re on a trip, and you’ve broken your iPhone, you may have no choice but to restore it from iCloud, or set it up as a new device. But when you get home, you can restore the latest iTunes backup.
What I do is back up both to iTunes and to iCloud. I let iTunes back up my devices when I connect them to my Mac. I probably don’t connect my iPhone every day, and my iPad less often, but there is always a recent backup stored by iTunes. And every couple of weeks, I turn off iTunes backups and do an iCloud backup. As soon as it’s finished, I switch the iCloud backup off. So I have the best of both worlds; if I need to restore my device when I’m on the road, I can (hopefully) do so from iCloud.
So be safe: back up your devices in iTunes, as well as in iCloud.