Most iPhone users find that their smartphones were designed with one primary objective–to work, and to do so more easily than the competition. For the most part, this holds true. iOS is a closed off operating system that Apple maintains to great effect. However, when it comes time to transfer data, apps, and media to and from your device, there’s only one place to turn: iTunes. It’s the media management software responsible for syncing all of your smartphone’s data, but it’s also become cumbersome and unwieldy over the past several years. iFunbox has caught some noteworthy attention as an alternative to iTunes, but since it’s not from Apple (or even approved by Apple), many have questioned whether or not it’s a safe app.
That’s the subject we’re going to tackle, today. Read on to learn more about iFunbox, and other potential iTunes alternatives!
For what it’s worth, iTunes is pretty good at what it does. It backs up the data on your iPhone, creates a map of the various apps and settings, and also allows you to move images, audio, and videos to and from your device. All of these things happen within a minimalistic, clean interface. However, the problem that most users discover with iTunes isn’t with what it does, but with how much it does.
If iTunes was still just iOS management and media library software, it might not have this reputation. Instead, it’s grown far beyond those original duties. It’s now a place where you can purchase music, movies, and television shows. It’s a place to learn more about media and artists. Apple Music lives in iTunes as well, and even though the streaming music service gets its own dedicated app on iDevices, it’s packaged right into iTunes on desktop and laptop computers.
This isn’t just a list of features; it’s a list of different purposes and functions that all exist within a single program. It would be considered efficient if it wasn’t, at the same time, so overcrowded and unwieldy. And funnily enough, when you stack iTunes up against the iPhone, the software provides a much less clean and efficient experience than the device that it’s supporting.
Since many users are less than fond of this trend, they’re looking for other places where they can maintain and sync their iOS devices. This is where iFunbox enters the picture. It pitches itself as an alternative to iTunes that allows greater amounts of freedom and how iPhones and iPads are synced. Mostly, it purports to do the same exact things, but it also wants to allow users to sync a greater range of things, and have access to larger amounts of data.
If you’re familiar with how the Apple device and software ecosystem works, you probably understand why the company would be less than fond of this particular angle. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t safe to use.
What is iFunbox?
After we just finished talking about all of the wild responsibilities and features that iTunes has come to have, it’s virtually impossible to call iFunbox an “iTunes Replacement.” No other software is large enough in scope to do such a thing, and it’d be misleading to imply it! However, iFunbox is replacing several specific functions within iTunes, while expanding on some of what Apple’s software doesn’t offer.
Take all of the iOS-related tasks relegated to iTunes, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what iFunbox is trying to do. The only thing that it doesn’t have ready access to is the iOS App Store, but it still allows you to manage the apps that are already present on your iPhone. In addition to that, it allows you to more selectively access and to migrate the data on your iDevice.
In addition to that, you can utilize and install apps that aren’t from the app store, though this particular functionality is extremely limited in its usefulness.
How Does iFunbox Work?
Like iTunes, iFunbox is a media and application management tool. It sorts all of the content on your computer and your iOS devices into a manageable interface, thus making it easy to transfer data between them. It’s also important to establish that iFunbox is not an iPhone or iPad app. It’s a software application that runs on your computer, for sake of managing your iDevices.
It also works very similarly to iTunes. Plug in your iPhone via USB cable, allow the software to recognize your device, and you’ll be able to manage the content on it. This includes images, videos, and some audio files. It’s important to stress that you’ll only manage some audio files since those tracks that are encoded for protection aren’t going to be so flexible.
What many users look for, however, is the much smaller data points that iFunbox allows you to access. Chat logs from your messaging apps, saves from your games, and more that you’d have trouble accessing through iTunes can all be reached through iFunbox.
The other large portion of users that turn to iFunbox use it for jailbroken devices, which is a whole other bag of cats to discuss. For now, it suffices to say that you can use iFunbox to access the entire iOS and app framework on your jailbreak iPhone.
Is iFunbox Safe to Use?
Here’s the crux of our topic today, and it actually allows us to participate in a wider discussion about third-party online services. If you do a quick search online, you’ll find hundreds of people that are happily using iFunbox, but you’ll find just as many who are concerned about whether or not the software is safe to use.
Partly, this is the reason that Apple’s software and hardware families are so closed-off. Those who’ve owned iPhones for a while, or even those with a Macbook Pro, for example, will know that iOS and Mac OS X are remarkably secure compared to other operating systems. They’re not perfect, but the control that Apple maintains over their software comes with some sense of safety for its users.
Inversely, those users can get mightily uncomfortable when it comes to using their Apple devices with third-party programs, even if there’s no reason to be.
In the case of iFunbox, it’s just as safe to use as you make it. The software isn’t guaranteed or approved by Apple; thus, if you encounter any trouble, you’re practically on your own. If you’re willing to risk that in exchange for an added bit of functionality for syncing and data access, then they are no current known safety issues.
iFunbox vs. iTunes
Of course, what you get out of iFunbox is going to depend on how happy you are with iTunes. Unless you’re using a jailbroken device, it isn’t going to add much in terms of available features, but it will pare away some of the bloat that comes with Apple’s software. If you’re sick of wading through all of the iTunes store, Apple Music, and other features that are packed into iTunes, you’ll surely enjoy the simplicity that is iFunbox.
The rest of it, however, is dependent on jailbreaking your iOS device. This carries with it significantly more risks, and can easily result in an entirely nonfunctional iPhone if performed wrong. Additionally, future updates to iOS will be unavailable until the particular jailbreak you’ve used incorporates them. It’s an inadvisable path and one that we would caution against.
I’m not sure if it’s correct to call these programs iFunbox alternatives or simply more iTunes alternatives. After all, that’s what iFunbox is, and most third-party software offerings are aiming to replace the proprietary program–not iFunbox.
Regardless, there are a few others out there, most of which offer similar types of features and functionality. They don’t offer much more for the average iPhone user than iFunbox, and most of the added features are limited to those who have jailbroken their devices.
SynciOS Manager is probably the closest alternative and one of the few that’s been recently updated to accommodate the newest version of iOS. The interface has a sleeker, more professional appearance than iFunbox, and comes packed with several diagnostic tools that can be useful for data recovery and backup.
CopyTrans Manager allows you to take control of your entertainment media again. Once installed, it lets you transfer songs, videos, and more to and from your iOS device without any interference from iTunes. You can even edit the titles of songs and change their artwork, features that are becoming more difficult to do in the iron reign of iTunes.
iFunbox isn’t inherently a bad program; it’s something that came about as users wanted more control than they were being given with traditional Apple software, and to that end, it still works quite well. You can gain a concise, snappy helping of your own data without wading through the abundance of features that iTunes is currently packing. Though it’s not approved by Apple in any sense, most have found it very safe to use. And if you want an alternative, simply check out the two that we’ve provided above!