What are iPhone backups?
iPhone backups are created by Apple’s iTunes application and are stored locally when an Apple device is connected and synced with the computer, overwriting any existing backups. The backup data is actually stored within a single folder on the user’s computer and contains many individual files, one for each type of database (contacts/messages etc).
These databases/files are given unreadable names (‘0ba0587b7b46ac4bc1378adb3a2431cd145ad40s’ for example) and have no file extension to determine the type of data stored within. These files are used by Apple devices (iPhone, iPod or iPad) and iTunes to store and transfer personal data and the device’s settings.
How to open and extract data from iPhone backups…
iPhone backups weren’t designed to be human readable files. Instead, their only purpose is to store information which can be automatically restored on the device through iTunes. Because of this, the backup data is extremely difficult to read and recover without dedicated tools.
One of the best ways to recover and restore the data within these backups is with phoneMiner. The program features an easy-to-use interface and offers support for a wide range of smart-phones, including the iPhone.
Amrak Software’s phoneMiner allows users to recover any of the following:
- Contacts (Address Book)
- SMS Messages
- Call log
- Voice Recordings
Note: Emails are not stored within the backups, they are held on the user’s mail server.
phoneMiner is also extremely useful in situations where connecting the iPhone to iTunes is impossible. If the device breaks, becomes corrupt or is stolen, the only way to access the backup data is by using phoneMiner.
Other uses of phoneMiner include:
- Transferring personal data from one device to another
- Recovering backup data when a device is no-longer owned/available
- Digital Forensics Investigations
Exporting data to other formats…
Even though phoneMiner was designed primarily for accessing and viewing backup data, it can also serve other purposes. For example phoneMiner can also be used for printing data or for exporting it to a variety of different file formats or even to Google Contacts.
- Export to Microsoft Excel
Most types of data (Messages, Memos, Calendar, Contacts, etc) can be exported to Excel. phoneMiner offers support for both XLS (1997 – 2003 Excel) and XLSX spreadsheet formats.
- Export to PDF
The Portable Document Format developed by Adobe is currently one of the most popular document formats and a standard for a large number of applications.
- Export to CSV
The CSV (Comma Separated Values) format stores backup information in a simple, text based format that can be opened with any basic text editor.
- Export to Google Contacts
With phoneMiner, users can sync their phone contacts with their Google Account. Google Contacts is one of the easiest ways to transfer contact information between devices.
- Export to HTML
Export backup data to HTML, the standard Web Format.
- Export to ICS
The ICS format is used by some of the most popular E-mail and Calendar programs such as iCal, Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. phoneMiner can export all calendar data to the ICS format so that it may then be import to other calendar applications.
- Export to VCF
The vCard file format is an industry standard for saving Contact/Address book entries.