iWant: Faster iOS Device Syncing

I remember the good old days, when it took just a few minutes to sync an iOS device. Since iOS 7, however, it can take 15 minutes or more to sync my iPhone with my Mac. The longest part is when iTunes is “Waiting for changes to be applied.” This occurs just before audio files are copied to the device.


I’m sitting at my desk right now, waiting to sync my iPhone. I think I started about twenty minutes ago, and all I’m doing is adding a bunch of audio files I want to listen to when I go out for a walk. Which I hope to do before the sun goes down…

Back in the day, this process was much faster than it is now. I don’t know exactly what’s changed since iOS 7, but I see this all the time, on all my iOS devices: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Air.

What about others? Are you seeing long sync times for your iOS devices?

Just after I finished writing this post, iTunes started copying files. And I see this:


It’s copying about half the music files on my iPhone. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this happen. Somehow, the music database gets corrupted. I think this has happened a half-dozen times since iOS 7 was released. The best fix I’ve found is to just restore the device; then resync everything. Sigh.

Related: it’s amazing how slow it is to copy data to the flash memory on an iPhone. Restoring a device takes hours, if you include media files. Even to copy basic apps (in my case, about 2 GB worth of apps), it’s well more than a half hour.