If you hate iTunes, you’re not alone. I use a MacBook and an iPhone on a daily basis, but I usually try and avoid iTunes like the plague. It’s not a terrible piece of software by any means, but sometimes it’s really slow and doesn’t work all that great, especially if you’re on a Windows machine. However, it’s really the only option for syncing your iPhone and such, so you’re kind of forced to use it.
However, there are ways to avoid it for the most part. Personally, I can’t remember the last time that I opened iTunes. I have no locally-stored music, movies or TV shows that I need to sync with my iPhone, and I do all of my app shopping right on the device itself. What’s my secret? The cloud.
It’s All About the Cloud
If you want to avoid iTunes, you really have to be a cloud advocate. I love listening to music and watching movies on my iPhone, but all of it is in the cloud and/or saved for offline use. For example, all my music is through Spotify, and I can create my own music library and save it for offline use so that I can listen to it at any time, and it automatically syncs with the desktop Spotify app so I’ll have my music on my MacBook as well. As for movies, TV shows and other entertainment, Netflix and YouTube are my main sources for all of that, both of which operate in the cloud/online.
And as I mentioned earlier I downloaded and buy all of my apps right on my iPhone, which I’m sure most people do anyway. Though, iTunes provides a neat little feature that makes it easy to organize your apps, if you’re into that.
As for photos and videos that I take, I upload them all to Dropbox automatically, that way they show up on my computer right after I take them. This is similar to how Photo Stream works in iCloud, but instead of using Apple’s way, you’re using your own way that’s sometimes better.
What about Backups?
It’s impossible to back up your iPhone without opening iTunes, even if you back up over WiFi. Because of this you won’t be able to avoid iTunes if you want to back up your iOS device. So yes, you will have to open iTunes occasionally, but you won’t have to actually do anything in iTunes. However, I don’t even bother backing up my iPhone for the most part.
Everything that I use is in the cloud, including iCloud, which stores Safari data and even my contacts. The only things that are actually stored on my iPhone that aren’t in the cloud are the apps themselves, and various custom settings and options. So if my iPhone does fail at some point, I’ll lose all those apps and settings. You might call me crazy, but whenever something like that happens (if my phone dies at some point), I always see it as an opportunity to audit my apps and get rid of all the old apps that I never use and start fresh. It actually feels really good.
Of course, avoiding iTunes is only for certain types of users; and if you’re not a big fan of the cloud then this plan won’t really work. Of course, some users don’t have a problem with iTunes at all. I say: good for them, as it’s one more thing that makes the iOS experience seamless. But seeing as how I like to escape Apple’s ecosystem and do things my own way, iTunes just isn’t for me.