I am searching for an iPhone utility / application with an FTP client that can do automatic backup without user intervention. More specifically, I'd expect to configure the utility once and specify (somehow) that I want a certain type of file (e.g. photos) backed up automatically, in the background. As an example, if I specified photo backup, I'd want the new photos to be ftp'ed in the background, shortly after they're created.

I've searched for hours on the AppStore and already bought two top rated FTP clients. Neither does what I want. Perhaps this is due to a limitation of the iPhone architecture? If so, I'd be amenable to running a jail-breaked phone, if such application were available.

Any pointers gratefully appreciated.

BTW, I've specified FTP rather than than another protocol/service since the goal is to upload photos directly to a host that I control (where the photos will be further processed into a report and sent to a customer). For this reason, it's important that the photos are moved as fast as they're created and, unlike ITunes/Dropbox/GoogleDrive/etc, they need to move to a computer that I control. I mention this because IF an application can accomplish the aforementioned task without FTP, that's fine.

  • CousinCocaine, your response was very helpful. I've added some more information that I hope clarifies. – user3614305 May 30 '14 at 19:10
  • When you make the photo within the transfer App, you can send the foto at the moment they are created. – CousinCocaine Jun 3 '14 at 6:31
  • You can use iCloud-Photostream to send the foto directly to the client. Or you can use iCloud-Photostream to send the photo's to your mac and from your mac to a remote FTP. (I'll update my answer) – CousinCocaine Jun 3 '14 at 6:31
  • Next time be a bit more specific about what you want. You do not want to backup your device as you state in your question, you want to copy your photo's to a computer. And why do you insist on FTP? It is 2014... – CousinCocaine Jun 3 '14 at 6:43
  • CousinCocaine, Thanks very much for the photostream suggestion! I will test it out. Regarding ftp, I did amend the original statement (last paragraph, last sentence). And regarding the intended use, the photos will be processed into a report and sent to a customer. Sorry I can't go into more detail. – user3614305 Jun 6 '14 at 22:22

What you want can be done with Apple's iCloud backup (on your iPhone go to: Settings, iCloud, Storage & Backup, iCloud Backup). But you ask specifically for a whole iPhone backup over FTP.

You can also use your WiFi to backup your iPhone via iTunes. To set up Wi-Fi syncing, connect your iOS device to your computer with the included USB cable. Click the Device button in the upper-right corner. (If viewing the iTunes Store, click the Library button first.) If you don't see your device, choose View > Hide Sidebar. In the Summary tab, select "Sync with this [device] over Wi-Fi."

There are some good non Apple programs to backup your photo's over the internet (bittorrent sync, Dropbox, Copy for iOS, and much more), but none use old school FTP.

If you specifically want FTP, you should jailbreak your iPhone, setup your FTP connection and run a Cron job which syncs every x hours. I would strongly recommend not to go this way, it will eat your battery and FTP is not the correct way to do this, I would greatly suggest rsync over SSH. Or use SFTP. But yet again, I would strongly recommend not to go this way.

If you want to drop every photo you make onto an FTP host, you can do this if you setup an OS X device in between. You can use iCloud-Photostream to send the photo's to your photostream. Now, when your mac is running, it will automatically download this stream and store the foto's in ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub. Now you can use any software to start syncing your mac. For example you can create 'Folder actions' to start an FTP upload every time the folder gets a new image.

Another possibility is to make the photo from within file-exchange app like Dropbox or bittorrent sync or one of the others. The app will automatically upload your photo's to other devices.

I would go for the iCloud-Photostream -> Mac -> Client if I had to use it myself. I would go for creating the photo's from within the file-exchange app if I had to explain my mother how to do it. Furthermore, what are you planning to do with your backups? You can not use them to restore your iPhone, you need an iTunes or iCloud backup for that.


Use camera sync. The only problem I found is you have to manually open the app and then it backups your pic to the specified ftp server.

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