Connect Your iOS 7 Device to Your Mac or PC
Connecting your device to your Mac or PC
When it comes to syncing the data between your iOS device and your computer, you have the choice of doing so by connecting your device to your Mac or PC with the included USB cable. Or you can do so wirelessly, as long as your device and your computer are on the same wireless network. But, in order to sync wirelessly, you do need to set up your device first by connecting one end of the included USB cable into the device and the other end into your computer. If iTunes isn't currently open on your computer, it may open once your device is detected, but that depends on a setting we'll look at shortly. If iTunes doesn't open, you can go ahead and open it manually yourself.
And here, we're looking at the main iTunes window. Depending on how you have iTunes configured, you access your device in different ways. In this view, I see this button up here that currently says Two Devices. And when I click it, I can see that my iPhone and my iPad Mini are currently connected. Selecting one brings up that device's information. Or if you have the side bar visible, which you can see by going to View>Show Sidebar, you'll see your devices listed here on the side under Devices. Personally I like using the side bar, so I'll leave my iTunes window configured this way.
So the first thing you should see when you select your device, is that the main part of the iTunes window is organized into a series of categories. You can see that summary is currently selected. Under summary, you can find your device's vitals like its name, capacity, software version and serial number. Incidentally, if you want to change the name of your device, just click its current name and type in a new one. This might be helpful if you have more than one of the same iPod in the house and you want to make sure that your name is associated with yours. Over here in this area, you'll either see a message telling you that your iPod, iPad, or iPhone software is up to date.
Or you'll see a message that a newer version of the software is available. Apple frequently releases updates to iOS, sometimes fixing bugs other times adding major new features. Generally, it's a good idea to update to the latest version of the software when it becomes available, although some people prefer to wait a few days to see if the new software introduces any issues for any of the iOS devices. But when you want to update, just click the Update button to download and install the software. Or in this case, I can click Check for Update to have iTunes check for new software. And you can see that, at this point I'm using the current version of the software.
This is also where you'll find the button to restore your device. There may come a time when your device is acting just plain weird. Maybe it's not booting up right or it's locked up. Now there are various fixes and solutions you can find on Apple's website and other places and we'll talk more about this in the chapter on troubleshooting. But as a last resort you can also click the Restore button to return the device to its factory new condition. Now I say it's a last resort because restoring completely erases the device and installs a fresh copy of the software, so you'll lose all the items currently installed on it. If you backup your iPhone, iPad or iPod regularly, which again we'll talk about doing in the troubleshooting chapter.
You should have copies of everything in iTunes anyway, but it does take time to re-copy everything back to your device. Next we have the backups section, and this is where you can choose to backup your computer to iCloud or to your computer. We'll talk about backups in its own movie near the end of this chapter. Under the Options section we have several options or check boxes. Now with my iPhone selected, the first item here is automatically sync when this iPhone is connected. So when checked, your iPhone will automatically transfer and receive new music, calendars, contacts and so on, that you've added to your computer or phone.
But if I go over here and select my iPad, notice the first option here is open iTunes when this iPad is connected, and that's pretty self explanatory. With this option checked, iTunes will open whenever you connect your iPad to your computer. Let's switch back to the iPhone. So, next we have sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi. This is the checkbox that you want to check if you want the ability to sync your device with iTunes without connecting it with the USB cable. I'll cover this option in its own movie at the end of this chapter. Next we have Sync only checked songs and videos. With this option checked, iTunes won't include any unchecked files when it copies files to your device.
And that's referring to the check boxes that appear, next to all the files here in your library. So if I didn't want certain songs here to be included, I could just uncheck them. I'll leave all those checked for now. These next two options are designed to save space on your device. Prefer standard definition videos when checked, will copy standard definition movies to your device rather than the high def or HD versions, if you happen to have both versions of the movie. Similarly, if the music you have in your iTunes library is encoded using a high bit rate, meaning you have very high quality audio files. You can check this option here that says Convert higher bit rate songs to, and then select a different bit rate from here.
And that'll allow you to reduce the file size, so you don't take up as much space on your device. I'm just going to leave both of those options unchecked. The next option is Manually manage music and videos. Now I selected this option before I started recording this movie you're watching, so my iPhone and iPad wouldn't be copying a bunch of files while I was talking. This is the option that lets you manually drag songs and videos to your device, rather than letting iTunes move files automatically for you. Notice on the iPad, that sync only check songs and videos is greyed out when I have manually manage the videos checked. Now the question that often comes up here, is which option is better, manual updating or automatic syncing.
And it really depends on whether you prefer the control of manually managing your iPod. Or if you prefer to set up some rules and playlists to determine what gets copied to your iPod. And we'll look more at the synching options in an upcoming movie. So, those are the items and options you'll find under the Summary tab when you connect your iOS device to your computer. In the rest of this chapter, we'll work our way through the rest of these categories and see how to manage the contents of your device.
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