No, using the free companion Desktop app is optional.
However, Simple Transfer Desktop offers many extra features that are not available on the web browser version (e.g. ability to use USB cable for faster transfer, keep status of downloaded items, change the location of transferred files, not having to download files as ZIP and more).
Simple Transfer Desktop app is currently available only for Windows and macOS. Linux is not supported yet, however you can use the web browser method instead.
Both apps are identical in terms of functionality except for the pricing model. In Simple Transfer, Lifetime purchase or annual subscription includes all the current and future options including Photo Cleaner but in Simple Transfer Pro, Photo Cleaner is a seperate in-app purchase.
We strongly recommend downloading the free Simple Transfer instead of Simple Transfer Pro.
Yes, you need to download the app using the Family Sharing feature of the phone in iOS 14+. Please refer to the Set up Family Sharing on Apple support website.
Note that Family Sharing is not a feature handled by developers. It's all managed by Apple and developers do not have access to it other than enabling the feature for their apps. If you still have any issues, please contact Apple support.
HEIC is the file extension for photo format introduced in iOS 11.0 to reduce file size and is used almost on all iPhone and iPad devices. HEIF and HEVC files are supported by default on newer version of macOS but not on Windows and older versions of macOS. Simple Transfer allows you to convert HEIC file to JPG in HEVC videos to Windows compatible format (H-264).
This usually happens on Windows where it does not support playing the new High Efficiency video format (HEVC) recorded on iPhone. In this case, select MOV or MP4 for Video Format option on the download page to save them as Windows compatible format (H.264).
USB transfer is exactly the same as WiFi but you will need to connect your iPhone/iPad to the computer using a USB cable. Then you should be able to see USB instead of WiFi on top of the device name on the Simple Transfer Desktop app.
Note that if you use Windows, please make sure you have installed the iTunes app on your PC, which is needed to connect via USB cable.
When you delete photos and videos, they are temporarily moved to the Recently Deleted album on your Photos app and stay there for 30 days. You can use the Photos app to recover them from the Recently Deleted album.
This is because Photos app never duplicates photos when you add them to another album. Instead, it just adds a link to that photo. This is why if you delete a photo from an album (other than Camera Roll) the original version, which is stored in Camera Roll never gets deleted. But if you delete a photo from Camera Roll, it will be deleted from all other albums too.
Please refer to this page on how to cancel it. Apple is the only one that can cancel your subscriptions and it's not possible to do it directly from the app.
All the downloaded photos are saved in the default Downloads folder of your computer (the same location where downloaded files from the Internet are saved). You can always change the default location from the Settings screen of your web browser.
When you select more than one item to download, Simple Transfer automatically puts them in zip file in order to preserve the file timestamp (it's not possible to change datetime of a downloaded file from web browser). If you do not want to download the items as zip file, you can use the free Simple Transfer Desktop companion app.
This is because Simple Transfer does not use a public website hosted on the Internet. The Simple Transfer website is just hosted on your iPhone/iPad locally, which is why all of your photos and videos are transferred only in your local WiFi network. You can safely ignore this warning.