Review: MobileGo for iOS goes where iTunes won't
At a Glance
iTunes is an excellent tool for managing the content on your iOS device from your Windows PC. Unless you'd like to sync contacts, or de-dupe them. Unless you'd like to convert audio and video files to an iOS-compatible format. Unless you'd like to extract music from a video and upload it to your device in a compatible format.
Clearly, iTunes has some limitations. Wondershare's MobileGo for iOS ($40, free demo with limited imports and exports) offers some nifty features that iTunes leaves out, making this application an excellent companion to Apple's software.
MobileGo for iOS is available in a free trial version, but the full version costs $40 -- a hefty price when you consider that iTunes is free. At that price, MobileGo for iOS has to earn its keep -- and, depending on how you use your iOS device, it just may do that.
MobileGo for iOS is not a full-fledged PC media management system like iTunes, or MediaMonkey. It does not scan your computer for audio and video files, and it does not organize your media library. What it does is focus on your iOS device. MobileGo automatically detects your iPod, iPhone, or iPad when it's connected to your computer, and displays its contents in a column on the left side of the application. You can expand any of the sections, which include media, playlists, photos, contacts, and SMS, to browse in a larger window on the right side of the application.
iTunes users who have yearned to manage their contacts or view their text messages on a big screen will appreciate MobileGo's approach. It lets you view entire messages threads, though you can't compose messages, which would have been a nice touch. You can export message threads to your computer for backup, though. Its Media, Playlist, Photos, and Contacts tools are a bit more useful, as you can use each of these sections to add content to your device or sync it back to your PC. MobileGo's interface is clean and attractive, and its large icons make it easy to figure out how to accomplish all of these tasks.
MobileGo for iOS also include a Toolkit, which is where you can perform some additional tasks. The Toolkit includes options for copying music to iTunes or your computer, extracting music from a video file and saving it as an audio file that can be uploaded to your phone, and converting music to an iOS-compatible format. One oddity about MobileGo: this Toolkit section lacks an option for converting video to an iOS-compatible device, which MobileGo is supposed to offer. While I never found this option in the Toolkit section, I soon realized that MobileGo for iOS simply handled the conversion automatically when I added an incompatible video to my device using the Media section of the application. The video conversion was handled quickly and seamlessly, but it seemed odd that an option to accomplish this task wasn't included in the Toolkit as it is with music.
The Toolkit also contains a Contact Manager, which allows you to backup contacts, find duplicates, and import or export contacts to and from Outlook or Windows Mail. Business users—or anyone who has lamented iTunes' lack of a robust contact manager—will appreciate this feature in particular.
And users with more than one iOS device will appreciate how easily MobileGo allows you to transfer contents between them. The software recognizes multiple iOS devices at a time, and allows you to export content from one to the other easily.
Even with its $40 price tag, MobileGo for iOS is an excellent application for managing the content on your iOS device. Its contact manager and file conversion tools, plus its ability to transfer content between two iOS devices will make it worth its hefty price for many users. Still, it's expensive and it can't do everything that iTunes can. It lacks an option for purchasing and downloading content, and includes no tools for managing iOS apps on your device. That's why it makes a good companion to iTunes, rather than a complete replacement.
Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.