How to transfer data between iOS devices

Often, you’ll want to transfer some piece of data — a link, contact information or a photo, for example — from one of your iOS (s aapl) devices to another. iCloud will make some of that easier, but unfortunately, the iPhone doesn’t support Bluetooth file transfer like most phones. Luckily, there are other workarounds.


The easiest way of transferring a small amount of data, like a link or a single photo, is via email. Since there’s no need to download any extra apps, it’s possible to do this as soon as you set up a device. All you need is an active email account, and you can send messages to yourself. The email will be received on the other device, and then you can copy and paste the information as you please.

The downside of sending yourself emails is firstly, it can take a while to send an email containing lots of photos or a long video, even over Wi-Fi. Also, if you’re not at home or on Wi-Fi, using email will use up mobile data, since you’re connecting to the Internet. If you don’t a Wi-Fi connection, I’d suggest using the next method, which can be done with Bluetooth and doesn’t impact your data plan.

Dedicated app

Another way to transfer data is using a dedicated app, such as Bump. Bump doesn’t have an iPad app, but the iPhone version works just fine on the iPad. Bump allows you to send photos, apps, contacts and music between devices. Again, though, Bump will use your data connection if you aren’t connected via Wi-Fi. It is free however, and enables you to send more than Mail does.

Another similar app is Mover. It’s a Universal application, so it has an iPad-specific interface in addition to one designed for the iPhone. It also works over Bluetooth, saving you precious mobile data. Mover can’t send music or apps like Bump can, but it can send contacts, photos, text and videos. There are some reviews in the App Store saying Mover doesn’t work, but I’ve never had problems with it, and it has been great for quickly copying information over. Mover costs $1.99 in the App Store, and it also has a free Mac companion app that lets you transfer files from your computer to your iOS device.

Using a dedicated app isn’t only an efficient way to transfer data, but both Bump and Mover use interesting mechanics to transfer the data — bumping the phones together and flicking the data from the screen, respectively — so they’re so a nice way to take advantage of your device’s unique interface options.

If you know of a faster or easier way of transferring your data between your devices, tell us how in the comments.