As iOS 5 approaches, I would like to start fresh and no longer sync my iPhone & iPad to my iMac as my primary, and use my notebook instead. As I was looking for ways to do this without losing data, as some apps don't sync to the cloud, I need some methods to recover data from applications.
For example, I routinely scan in receipts using 'JotNot Pro', a wonderful scanning utility for the iPhone. I typically scan receipts, upload them to Evernote, and also save a local copy. The local copy is what I want to transfer over after my clean install so I will still have that data inside of the application in case I need to look something up and can't get online.
In fact, JotNot Pro is just one, there are several applications that I want to grab that data from -- Nike +, numerous high scores and saves from games, etc. As I've been working on a way to do this, I think I found a few cool utilities with the help of an easy to follow article from iSource.
Note: Before you start, if you have encrypted backups enabled, you may want to consider creating at least one unencrypted backup to get the full use of the utilities below. Use your own discretion on this, but your mileage may vary if you are working with encrypted backups.
iPhone/iPod Touch Backup Extractor - This application lets you extract the data from your backups that are created each time you sync to iTunes. You can extract the data for each application with this app.
iExplorer - This little app lets you browse your iOS device as if it was a USB Flash drive. You can scan through all of the files and folders and copy what you need.
Picturescue - This app scans the backups from all of the iOS devices you have synced to iTunes and lets you extract the photos from them. Perfect for when you have lost your phone or it has been broken. Easy to use interface, and it works as advertised, but it is not FREE. However, if you want your precious memories back, can you really put a price on that? For $4.99, this app is a steal and worth every penny. Note -- if you do encrypted backups, this is not going to work. That's why you do encrypted backups.. So some nefarious person that has stolen you iPhone can't do this.
I've made all of these 'must have' apps for that 'just in case' scenario. You know -- Just in case I lose my phone, just in case it breaks, or just in case I want to do a clean install. As a suite, they have enabled me to accomplish my main goal -- backup up the data and being able to restore specific pieces of information into a clean install. It's not for the novice, but then again, it's not rocket science...