Before Catalina, I used to be able to use a simple AppleScript to open iTunes and select the menubar to back up connected iPhone/iPad; In Catalina, this function is moved to Finder and so far I haven't been able to find out how to click in the Finder's sidebar > location > iPhone. Has anyone had any luck with that?
Apple Configurator 21 has a command line utility
cfgutil, which can be installed from the menubar in Apple Configurator
cfgutil installed, you can run the command:
Apple Configurator 2 includes an Automator action too, which does the same as the above command.
1Currently requires macOS version 10.14.6 or later.
Also, for when one does not wish to put the ios device in supervised mode, this appplescript works for me (set [your_ios_device_name] accordingly)
tell application "System Events" to tell application process "Finder" set frontmost to true tell front menu bar to tell menu "File" to tell menu item "New Tab" perform action "AXPress" end tell set uis to (first UI element of row of (outline 1 of scroll area 1 of splitter group 1 of front window) as list) repeat with iter in uis if name of iter is "[your_ios_device_name]" then set ux to iter exit repeat end if end repeat tell ux perform action "AXOpen" end tell repeat until exists (button "Back Up Now" of scroll area 1 of group 1 of group 1 of splitter group 1 of splitter group 1 of front window) delay 0.3 end repeat set btn to (button "Back Up Now" of scroll area 1 of group 1 of group 1 of splitter group 1 of splitter group 1 of front window) repeat until enabled of btn delay 0.3 end repeat click btn end tell