ITunes used to be the only way you could straightforwardly connect your iPhone to a laptop in order to move, sync and back up content between them. Today, cloud computing and wireless technologies give you more options by which to link both devices -- and even gain capabilities that iTunes doesn’t support.

Cloud Connections

Your iPhone can connect to file-sharing services on the Web that store, sync and back up its contents. A prime example is iCloud, which significantly diminishes your dependence on iTunes for such tasks. Other popular cloud-based services include Dropbox, Google Drive and SugarSync. By downloading a cloud service’s iPhone app and installing its computer software, you can access, browse, download and even collaborate on stored content using both devices.

App Connections

Some iPhone apps can connect via Wi-Fi to companion software installed on a laptop, and use the connection to enable file transfers between both devices in either direction. Apps -- such as PhotoSync, Wireless Transfer App and Photo Manager Pro -- support photo and video transfers only. Other apps -- such as Air Transfer and Feem Wifi File Transfer -- enable document transfers as well.

Desktop Connections

You can control your laptop using a variety of iPhone apps, such as Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop, PocketCloud Remote Desktop and Jump Desktop. For a connection to work, a counterpart app must be installed and enabled on a laptop, and the laptop must be turned on. You can then use your iPhone to access documents, files and data, and even run your laptop’s software straightforwardly.