Yesterday, Apple released iOS 12.4, an update that at least in the beta phase seemed to have little to no new features. When the software was published with accompanying release notes, we learned that it contained a new iPhone migration tool, although it was not immediately clear how this tool worked or how it differed from existing migration options. Today, Benjamin Mayo outlines the details on 9to5Mac:
With iOS 12.4 or later, there is a new option for iPhone setup. You can now perform a local iPhone data migration when setting up your new iPhone.
As part of Quick Start, you can now transfer your data directly, without having to use iCloud or an iTunes backup. The IPhone will not use local WiFi, but you can transfer the cable with the USB3 camera adapter and a lightning cable.
Direct copies of the same data as an iTunes encrypted backup; All your photos, media, app data, settings and more are sent over a wireless peer-to-peer connection.
This tool works as a great option to recover from an iCloud backup, or perform an encrypted iTunes recovery. Both existing options are troublesome for storage reasons: Many users only have the free 5GB iCloud storage plan, which is often not enough to store a device backup initially, and to go to the iTunes route you need sufficient local storage on your Mac to take back up your entire device, which I personally have not had for several years.
Another common problem with recovering from iCloud backups is that while they allow you to start using your iPhone for a short time, data recovery such as pictures and offline music often takes days, if at all ends with to take place. With the new local transfer option, the wait before you can use the device much longer (Mayo shares a screen that estimates 90 minutes), but when the transfer is complete, everything on the new device should be the same as the old one.
I tend to buy new iPhones every year, and have recently become accustomed to setting them up as new devices every time ̵