I have a MacBook Pro, an iPhone (4S) and just recently received my iPad mini through the post. I am wondering how I can sync all of my devices so that every contact, app and music are on all three devices.

So, when I delete a contact from one device it automatically deletes from the others. I have also just set up my iCloud account and wonder if that can handle syncing these three data classes.

  • We ask that you ask one question per question, so I'll edit things to have one issue here. Also, troubleshooting in a Q&A forum is difficult since there isn't any back and forth. You may need to try troubleshooting this yourself and edit in what resource you selected to troubleshoot syncing contacts, what didn't work and what about that process you "don't get".
    – bmike
    Apr 12 '13 at 13:39
  • @bmike there is still more than one issue here - music and contacts sync differently and apps is in between :)
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 12 '13 at 13:43
  • @Mark You could look at the question that way - you could also look at it as an excuse to explain how things work and answer, "No - there isn't a unified syncing option today"
    – bmike
    Apr 12 '13 at 14:07

 iCloud

What it does do

  • synchronize (only over iTunes bought!) music if specified
  • synchronize pictures (photo stream)
  • keeping track of your device-location
  • backups of your device

What it doesn't do

  • synchronizing application data UNLESS specifically implemented by the app

  • keeping applications in-sync — this is due to different device classes have different preferred applications. For instance, you usually use different apps on an iPad as you would on an iPhone


There isn't one solution for the three sorts of information you seek to sync.

iCloud is designed to wirelessly sync the following classes of information:

  • Mail
  • Contacts
  • Calendars
  • Reminders
  • Safari Bookmarks
  • Notes
  • Passbook data
  • Photostream
  • Documents & Data (only the things stored in iCloud)

Music isn't something that is synced remotely. It is synced each and every time the iOS device is on the same Wi-Fi as the computer and you could purchase iTunes Match to have all your music purchases stored in the cloud. This also syncs ratings, artwork, playlists and play counts - but it's an additional yearly subscription. Most people I know are fine syncing Music locally, but you have that option with Apple today in some countries.

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